Executive Director, The Grand Senior Living Community at Norton’s Commons
Chairman, Kentucky Senior Living Association
Leadership style: I am a passionate servant leader with a focus on trust and communication.
Mentor: My wife, Amber, has helped me grow the most as a leader. She can help me look at situation from a different perspective and her nursing background helps customize her view to patient care setting.
Dream job as a child: I have always wanted to be a leader, but I was not sure how I wanted to lead. As I grew older, I developed a passion for helping others. This progression into senior living care was a natural draw to me.
Book on nightstand: “The Way of the Shepherd” by Dr. Kevin Leman (Zondervan).
Hobbies: Anything that involves spending time with my wife and our four children.
Medical News: Looking back on the past year, how has the healthcare system changed and what is your industry/sector doing to adapt to the changing environment?
Dean Windsor: The most apparent change in the healthcare system over the past year is the increase use of technology. There has been a tremendous growth in the number of products designed to help contribute to the care of seniors.
Due to this new technology, we now have an increased ability to monitor for safety, deliver important daily reminders to our residents, provide seniors the ability to speak with a physician over video chat and increase communication with residents and their family members. This new technology helps promote independence and facilitate aging in place.
My industry is adapting to this change in environment by continuing to learn about new products and by implementing care related technology into senior communities. We are learning what technology seniors are using and what works best to help provide better personalized care.
MN: What are the biggest challenges the long-term care and aging care sector face in Kentucky?
DW: The biggest challenge in Kentucky’s long-term care and aging care sector is the demand for staffing. Due to rising competitive wages and comparable employee benefits that fast-food and retail employers now offer, the ability to maintain staffing is becoming increasingly more difficult. We are competing for a labor force who have many options for employment, some employers can offer better employment packages without the added responsibility of caring for a human life.
We are starting to do a better job with becoming more competitive in our wages, but this is not the sole answer to this problem. We need to offer employees better healthcare packages, more engagement opportunities and most importantly we need to promote an environment that focuses on the value and appreciation of our employees and the care they give to our residents. If we can do this, we will have the ability to maintain a stable, low turnover work force.
MN: How has the long-term care sector changed over your career?
DW: The greatest change in the long-term care sector over the course of my career is the growing expectation to have senior living communities offer a diverse assortment of quality activities and provide an exceptional culinary experience.
We are creating opportunities to provide seniors with the ability to volunteer in the community, attend community events, participate in sports leagues and join educational and hobby style classes. Our communities are now supplying our residents with multiple dining options. We are providing a high-end restaurant-like experience, with a maître-d style service. The typical cafeteria style dinning no longer meets the desires of today’s seniors.
MN: As Chairman of Kentucky Senior Living Association (KSLA), what are your top priorities for 2019?
DW: Education, support and awareness are all priorities. KSLA offers diverse educational training opportunities for all disciplines, including during our annual conference. We provide training for resident service directors, food service personnel, marketing, activity directors, human resources, personal care home personnel, assisted living communities personal, emergency preparedness and wurvey preparedness.
The KSLA Education Action Team relies on constant feedback from members and leaders to offer pertinent and timely topics.
In addition, we work closely with state agencies and other organizations to address information that they feel is relevant to KSLA members.
KSLA’s weekly e-Blast News is published every Monday with up-to-date information concerning the Kentucky legislature and upcoming workshops and conferences.
KSLA is the only organization in the Commonwealth that is solely dedicated to representing senior living communities including assisted living communities, apartment-style personal care homes, memory care communities, independent living communities and retirement communities.