Our most recent post on McKnight’s Women of Distinction featured Kristy Ruppe Craddock, who discussed the importance of emotion for those working in the industry. The series continues now with Brenda Bacon, another member of the inaugural Hall of Honor class of Women of Distinction. Brenda is president and CEO of Brandywine Living, which provides assisted living, memory care, respite care and/or independent living in 30 communities across seven states throughout the mid‐Atlantic region. She had extensive experience in both the healthcare sector and politics before co‐founding Brandywine in 1996, giving her a broad perspective on the present – and future – of the senior living and care industries.
The Next Ten Years: New Resident Requirements and Continued Labor Shortages
Brenda sees some significant challenges facing the industry during the next decade. “The profile of our residents is changing. When we look at what the baby boomers want, which seems to be freedom and independence, we’ll be building a different type of product in the future than we have today. They want where they live to be the hub of their life, but also want to be able to go out to a restaurant or a drugstore.”
There’s also the ongoing nursing shortage situation. “We have to turn the labor challenge into an opportunity. We must find a way to draw and keep the right talent. If we don’t have a happy and sufficient workforce, then we can’t have happy residents.”
Words of Wisdom: Find Your Passion and Never Stop Learning
Brenda has words of wisdom for young women and men starting out in the industry, although she admits her advice to women comes with a bit stronger voice. “You have to find your passion, and not follow some else’s path. Young women especially want me to tell them exactly what I did to achieve what I have, and then think they can do the same thing and realize the same outcomes. All of our lives and our paths are different, so I tell them to look for the opportunities that present to you, not just those that may have presented to me or someone else. Take advantage of those opportunities and love what you do! And if you don’t love what you do, move on to something else.”
Brenda admits that she’s had many mentors, and still has quite a few. “I think you learn something from everybody you meet. If you say, ‘Well, I’ve been mentored and I’m done, so now I’ll just pass things on to others,’ you lose a lot of potential information.”
Brenda’s mentoring style is collaborative. “When someone calls me now, asking for help or if I’ve seen a specific situation before, I don’t just tell them what to do. I try to help them think through what’s best for them. And in the process, I learn something from that conversation. To me, it doesn’t feel like mentoring. No matter what our age or experience, it’s important to discuss an issue, look at the options, decide how to approach it, and then just go for it!”
Our Company Culture Reflects Brenda’s Words
PointClickCsre has always urged each one of our diverse group of employees to find and follow their passion. Our philosophy is “Work shouldn’t (always) suck,” and PointClickCare operates according to those words on a daily basis. Our employees are happy, fulfilled and solving problems in our industry, and our partners and customers connect with that vibe.
As the exclusive Platinum Sponsor for McKnight’s first Women of Distinction program, we’re getting a first‐hand look at the unsung heroines in our industry. Many of them have overcome professional or personal obstacles – or both – and have likely had to work longer and harder than their male peers to get noticed and achieve their goals. If you haven’t already, check out the Lifetime Achievement Winner, the Hall of Honor, and the Rising Stars.
“Our company’s goal is to understand the changing senior care market better than anyone else,” says Cheryl Crooks, PointClickCare’s Senior Director of Market Development. “We wouldn’t be able to achieve that, or success for our customers, without a workforce that acknowledges and learns from the unique contributions of these Women of Distinction.”
Meet Some of the Other Women of Distinction
You can learn more about Brenda Bacon in this McKnight’s article and the video below. Watch our blog for the next profile of another honoree in the 2019 class of McKnight’s Women of Distinction. Their collective talent is amazing!
PointClickCare is the Platinum Sponsor of the 2019 McKnight’s Women of Distinction program, which honors women in the senior living and post-acute care industries.