A Gen Z-er's Perspective on Senior Living – Varsity Branding

We hear over and over again about the extreme staffing shortages in senior living, and particularly about the lack of interest that younger people have in working in this industry.

But one twenty-something is bucking the trend. Alex Pavone, who graduated from Penn State University with a degree in health policy administration, said, “For many people, especially younger adults, senior living isn’t an appealing field. But for me, the industry is really intriguing. With the older population expanding, it poses a lot of opportunities for a long-term career.”

Alex’s interest in senior living started at a young age. “Volunteering at a community in high school, a college course in long-term care management, shadowing opportunities, as well as close relationships with my grandmothers,” she said. “These are a few of the things that sparked my interest in the industry.”

Alex’s recent visit to the 2023 LeadingAge Annual Meeting in Chicago made her interest even stronger. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to see what kind of resources are available to the industry,” she said. “The most fascinating thing was seeing the innovative products vendors have brought forward to serve these communities.”

Alex particularly loved the technology offerings. “I was especially interested by technology-based viewing of communities that allows you to ‘walk’ through the community without having to be there in person. This is a great resource for adult children as well as potential residents. Another technology I was excited about was robot restaurant servers.”

Currently working as an account manager and analyst, Alex has a strong work ethic, which runs in the family. Alex has seen her father, Michael Pavone, work to expand his business into many areas, including starting Varsity in 1992 to address the needs of the aging Baby Boomer population.

When asked what she has learned from her father over the years, Alex did not hesitate to share these three pieces of advice:

  1. Never give up.
  2. Hard work pays off.
  3. When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

It’s not hard to see that wherever her career takes her (hopefully to senior living), Alex is sure not to work a day in her life.