Loren Ranaletta: An Advocate for Older Adults

By Lynette M. Loomis

Loren Ranaletta, 72, spent 38 years as president and CEO, Episcopal SeniorLife Communities in Rochester. He retired from the position and now serves as president of The Episcopal Church Home Foundation, which allows him more time with his family. He is pictured at his home with grandkids.

Loren Ranaletta, 72, was well known for his role as president and chief executive officer at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities for 38 years. He said he was energized by the opportunity to help older adults lead better lives. As CEO, he faced challenges presented by frequently changing regulatory mandates, rising costs, a decreasing work force and COVID-19.

Add to these, technology improvements and the need for medical advancements as older adults live longer but with more chronic conditions. He said he is most proud of building a strong leadership team at ESLC and developing a great succession plan.

Now as an older adult himself, he has shifted his role to president of The Episcopal Church Home Foundation.

His original idea for a career was different than where he landed but related to health and medicine. He studied four years of pre-med in college (biochemistry major) and assumed med school was next. He accepted a job after college in hospital administration and never looked back.

“I learned about caring for people in a different way and then did graduate studies in health policy along with a MS in public health at UR School of Medicine,” he said.

One of the biggest adjustments in “retirement” is not overseeing day-to-day operations for 10 sites.

“I now have flexibility in my schedule. I don’t have to do prep work in the evening and on weekends. It almost seems like a luxury to have the time to think about relationships and how to build better, more meaningful connections with volunteers, donors, vendors, business partners and my family,” he said.

In his new role as president of the foundation, he is organizing and building a fundraising team.

“I also want to build community partnerships to further our service expansion to seniors and work to re-shape public policy on how to organize and finance senior living and care services,” he added. “I have a strong interest in the social determinants of health for older adults. Social and leisure patterns, health and wellness activities, eating habits and transportation options are all important parts of life balance. Health insurance needs to expand coverage in these areas and shift away from a medical model of service reimbursement. Affordable housing also factors into good health. ESLC has developed housing for a broad range of senior care needs in different income brackets.”

Ranaletta said that age-related vision changes and the inability to drive safely can lead to social isolation, which can lead to depression. Financial resources also are a social determinant of health. Living on a fixed income, even with modest increases in Social Security, doesn’t keep pace with inflation. The shifts in the stock market and decreased wealth impact every other determinant of health.

He met his wife, Janet, in high school and they have traveled this career journey together. She was a high school math teacher in Rush Henrietta CSD and is also now retired. They are looking forward to traveling to the national parks, Europe and North Carolina where their oldest son and three of their seven grandchildren reside. For their four local grandchildren, they want to be soccer spectators and cheerleaders.

When they are not on the road, Ranaletta likes to read, particularly books that influence his thinking and new leadership platforms.

“Talking with residents still gives me great joy. The wealth of knowledge and life experience they are willing to share enriches me. And I love the sense of humor of many residents,” he said.