Senior living organizations can benefit from leveraging advancements in technology to enhance residents’ standard of living and add critical capabilities. Technology can dramatically enhance residents’ quality of life—and thus, their engagement—by changing how they are cared for from both a clinical and personal perspective.
However, many communities are hesitant to implement critical technological advancements, worried about the perceived cost or difficulty of integrating new technologies into their current systems.
Revolutionizing Resident Care and Engagement in Senior Living
Technology can revolutionize resident care and outcomes, bolstering how residents engage with senior living organizations and improving their overall wellbeing and safety. Some facilities are choosing to improve their portals, where patients can access their own health information, schedule appointments and provide feedback alongside their families.
Others are including an iPad as a standard item in each resident’s room to boost their mental activity and motor skills. Here are some ways to enhance engagement and improve lives in senior living communities using the power of technology.
Drive Social Connection and Build Community
Facilities can use online portals and meetup groups to help residents socialize. For those with fewer mobility issues, locations have found success implementing workshops where residents teach each other skills like woodworking or knitting.
Those who must be more cautious with their mobility have found community in groups with similar interests, like reading clubs that utilize audiobooks or ebooks.
Enhance Care Through Virtual and Telehealth
By offering virtual and telehealth visits, residents can speak with medical professionals online, from the safety and comfort of their rooms, and at a time that is convenient for them. Reducing the transit commitment—to leave the facility, physically go to the doctor, have an appointment and return—also significantly cuts down on the danger of falls, infections and other injuries.
Improve Operational Efficiency With Streamlined Connectivity
Residents are not the only ones who can benefit from technology. Streamlined connectivity for staff improves their ability to care for patients by automatically updating charts and resident details as necessary. Systems can send timely reminders, notify specific staff across departments of action needed, or even alert management when certain food or medication items need to be reordered. This reduces delays in patient care and frees up valuable time for caregivers.
Maintain Autonomy, Safety and Connection Across the Care Spectrum
One of the primary drivers behind residents’ degeneration of wellness once they enter senior living facilities is their gradual loss of autonomy. Technology can empower senior living residents to accomplish some tasks on their own, from scheduling appointments to contacting staff or participating in activities. Certain technology can also enhance the safety of the facility itself with measures including bed alarms and auto-locking doors.
The Evolution of Care for Senior Living Residents
Technology changes need not be drastic in order to have a tremendous and immediate impact on care for senior living residents. Facilities that gradually evolve over time to incorporate mobile technology and safety systems rate higher, on average, than their peers in metrics such as quality of life and mortality rate.
How Technology Supports Independent Living
Senior living residents have needs that require daily support, and technology can help to provide that support. The standard of care for the elderly has evolved alongside technology, providing mental and physical enrichment that keeps people well for longer.
Top Considerations for Modern Senior Care
Modern facilities have a lot to choose from when it comes to selecting the technology solutions that will best serve their needs. Top considerations include access to telehealth and virtual health visits, streamlined communication—both resident-to-staff and staff-to-staff—and fostering a sense of community using technology. The right solutions for each facility will depend on their typical operations, vulnerabilities and goals in both the short and long term.
Speak With Hartman to Learn More About Elevating Senior Care
If you are a senior living community that would like to bolster its use of technology and innovation to improve the lives of residents and enhance engagement, contact the professionals at Hartman Executive Advisors. Our team of health IT experts can help you identify pain points and integrate technology to cultivate a fulfilling and safe resident community that also supports your staff. Reach out to learn more or schedule an appointment to get started.