LOSA ANGELES, CA / AGILITYPR.NEWS / February 12, 2024 / The upscale independent living, assisted living and memory care community welcomed the 20-year senior living and healthcare veteran in December.
Gilbert Carrasco, a 20-year leader in senior living, healthcare, and diversity, equity and inclusion, is the new executive director of The Variel in Woodland Hills. The upscale senior living community, managed by Momentum Senior Living, opened in July 2022 and offers independent living, assisted living and memory care to the greater Los Angeles area.
To fully immerse himself in The Variel, which Architectural Digest named a luxury senior living residence “designed to stun,” Carrasco is residing in the community for a few months. “I’m learning about all the departments and how we operate day-to-day, but I also want to see, hear and experience what the residents do,” he said.
“Living in one of our unoccupied rental apartments gets me up to speed with everything happening within the community after business hours. It’s allowed me to get to know our residents, learn about their fascinating lives and career accomplishments, and have spirited debates over crunchy versus soft tacos during late-night snack sessions.”
In his role, Carrasco will focus on improving resident safety and security processes, enhancing communication with residents, and exploring monitoring and fall prevention technology in memory care. He’ll also work closely with The Variel’s resident council to improve systems and reconfigure or repurpose spaces to elevate the resident experience.
“It’s exciting to join a community that’s already 85% filled as we transition from the growing pains of a new startup to enhancing the lives of the 400 active older adults who will call The Variel home,” he said. “I’ve always operated with the philosophy that if we maintain a balanced budget and take care of our employees who, in turn, take care of our residents, we’ll have a solid foundation for success.”
Carrasco attributes The Variel’s high occupancy rate to referrals from current residents, hiring staff with a “soul for senior living,” a vibrant location and inspiring design. “Starting from the valet service and front desk hospitality, it looks and feels like you’re checking in at a high-end hotel,” he said.
Before joining The Variel in December, Carrasco led continuing care retirement communities in California and Texas through a pandemic, debt refinancing, multiphase master planning and strategic redevelopment. He recently elevated his expertise in environmental design by completing his Ph.D. research on circadian rhythm and using artificial light in design to enhance residents’ living environment. Once settled into his new role, Carrasco plans to continue volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association® and nonprofits that support LGBTQ populations.
Early in his career, Carrasco was a sales rep for a medical implant company in Texas, a role that connected him with older adults who had hip or knee replacement surgery. “I built relationships with them and learned about their lives, sparking my love for seniors,” he said.
Witnessing elder abuse, coupled with reading an article from The New York Times about the mistreatment of elderly gay people in assisted living facilities, inspired Carrasco to shift his career to nursing and healthcare administration, and dedicate himself to serving older adults and mentoring others to do the same.
“When you get to a certain point in your life, you deserve to be able to live your best. There’s no greater mission or opportunity than senior living and caring for our elders.”
Gilbert Carrasco, a 20-year leader in senior living, healthcare, and diversity, equity and inclusion, is the new executive director of The Variel in Woodland Hills.
About Momentum Senior Living
Orange County-based Momentum Senior Living brings extensive experience guiding senior living communities across the U.S. and Southern California. Momentum assures a laser focus on helping residents stay connected and inspired through shared events, experiences, tastes and technology. Momentum’s holistic approach encompasses all aspects of life, including the mind, body, spirit and environment, allowing residents to experience a lifestyle and community culture focused on their total well-being. Momentum possesses a unique aptitude for overseeing senior living in the region. The two principals have catered to the needs of over 4,000 residents across seven senior communities in Southern California.