Validus Senior Living

By on Feb 25, 2021 in Senior Living

Lindsey Hacker is the CFO of Tampa, Fla.-based Validus Senior Living, which manages facilities for independent living, assisted living and memory care in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. Hacker joined Validus in 2017. Here she offers insight into the twin challenges of providing exceptional care while innovating. The following is excerpted from an interview published in Multi-Housing News.

How have you been ensuring the safety of residents and staff since the onset of the health crisis? What changes do you expect to be temporary and what is here to stay?

Hacker: Like most of the world, our entire operating model needed to shift very quickly to ensure the safety of our residents and teams.

Profile photo of Lindsey Hacker of Validus Senior Living

Lindsey Hacker, CFO, Validus Senior Living. Image courtesy of Validus Senior Living

Mask usage, hand hygiene, social distancing and personal protective equipment are now second nature. We screen all associates and any vendors or visitors and take their temperatures prior to allowing entrance to the building. Our cleaning process and solutions changed to using nontoxic chemicals against COVID-19 and performing more frequent cleaning.

We added ultraviolet light technology, which is not common in assisted living. These UV light cabinets give our teams the ability to sanitize and disinfect items in less than 5 minutes—perfect for high-touch items like keys, phones, eyewear and our iCare technology devices.

I think the pandemic has made us have a stronger focus on all aspects of infection prevention, so although we are hopeful we will not have to remain 6 feet apart, many of the other precautions will remain.

Now that vaccines have become available, how is Validus approaching the vaccination process?

Hacker: We are approaching it with education, positive reinforcement and role modeling. For our residents, we are seeing very high participation rates, which is very encouraging and not completely surprising since this generation saw polio become eradicated with the invention of a vaccine.

Looking ahead, what do you think we can expect from the senior living sector in 2021? 

Hacker: I believe some changes we have seen throughout this pandemic will be the new operating norm. Increased cleaning and sanitation protocols will certainly stay in place and will be an expectation by our residents and families. Resident engagement and programming will be an important selling tactic to give prospects reasons to risk leaving their homes to come live with us.

Technology will play a huge factor in our new norm to include the way we communicate and even provide care through the trends of telehealth visits and virtual tours of our communities. Digital marketing is and will continue to be imperative to drive inquiries and traffic to the communities. Differentiating yourself as compared to competitors in this arena will be important to help grow the census faster than the average.

Additionally, family engagement through technology via portals like Facebook and others will be expected from our population and necessary to stay connected and drive accountability for care results. This will be extremely important for the adult child and the resident alike as we see our population shift through the coming years.

You have implemented online payments through RENTCafé Senior Living. How did the implementation process go and how did residents and their families respond to the change?

Hacker: We have experienced great success with RENTCafé and have seen an adoption rate of about 70 percent. Our residents and families enjoy the flexibility of paying online via automated clearing house service or credit card as well as the capabilities to view statements, payments and ask billing questions. Our overhead costs for billing were also significantly reduced after moving to paperless billing.

Read the full interview with Lindsey Hacker.

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