Advancements in technology have triggered massive changes in the senior living industry in recent years, and now more than ever, communities need to embrace them and use them appropriately. From improving the health and safety of your residents to helping them communicate better with their families, new digital tools can improve many aspects of your community.
This article discusses three major impacts of technology on senior living communities and how you can position your company as a leader in the new digital space.
Reaching prospective residents via online search
Today’s seniors use technology to search for housing options, for themselves and for their parents. A Google survey found that about 75% of Baby Boomers use search engines to find information about senior living. Ensuring your community has a user-friendly, informative, and inviting website is crucial to reaching these prospective residents.
In addition, research shows that nearly 78% of seniors find customer reviews to be the most important information they find online. So, make sure your great reviews are easy to find.
Ensuring resident safety
Safety is at the forefront of many communities’ concerns, and technology makes keeping people safe much easier.
Especially in apartment-style and independent living facilities where residents are often left alone, technology has a huge potential for improving their safety. For example, many communities use monitoring devices so that when potentially dangerous situations arise, staff are notified immediately and dispatched if necessary.
Maintaining resident satisfaction
Technology can play a major role in maintaining resident satisfaction (which is one way to get those great reviews).
For example, technology can contribute to both resident entertainment and their health and well-being. iPads are taking senior living communities by storm due to their portability, affordability, and large selection of applications. Residents in many communities are using iPads to communicate with family and friends, take online education courses, and play brain games, which have been shown to prevent memory loss for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
WiFi is now considered a basic amenity in most communities, and the benefits far outweigh the cost. Resident satisfaction is higher when communication is easier and entertainment is readily available, and seniors seem to be embracing the new options the Internet brings. Availability of the Internet doesn’t just affect residents, either. WiFi also makes visits to the community more comfortable and enjoyable for families and helps with communication among staff.
Of course, human interaction is still a very important part of any community. No amount of technology can replace dedicated, caring staff, so it’s important to strive for a healthy balance between the two. Consider how your staff might use technology to grow interpersonal relationships with residents, for example, by playing a computer game with them, teaching them the in’s and out’s of Facebook, or helping them study for an online course.
Over the next several years, technology is poised to become even more important for senior housing providers, both on the management side and on the resident side. What is your community doing now to prepare for the future?
Want to learn more about how to make your community attractive? Join us on June 10 at 11 am PST for a free webinar on Senior Living Sales and Marketing Best Practices.