It’s probably old news to senior care providers that changing attitudes and trends are slowly but surely shifting independent living to resemble assisted living, and assisted to skilled nursing, forcing services to evolve from lifestyle to healthcare.
Average move-in age for assisted living has increased from 82 to 87, driven by the economic downturn, and the desire to age in place. A number of those residents require help with multiple activities of daily living (ADLs), and – like their independent living counterparts – wish to stay at this level of care for as long as possible. More residents are also entering with memory issues, causing facilities to reexamine their building design, training and technology.
Technology, it seems, could be the savior of assisted living. Given the Transitional and coming generations’ familiarity with personal technology, employing healthcare-related innovations will seem neither foreign nor scary to them.
For residents with higher acuity, having access to Wi-Fi, a personal emergency response system (PERS) and a motion monitor safety system could be all they require. Others would benefit from medication management systems, care-planning systems and electronic medical records.
Although we’re not anticipating robotic employees anytime soon, something as simple as moving to electronic medical records could be a step in the right direction. Communities that have flipped the proverbial switch report positive effects on their assisted living services in the form of controlled costs, brand differentiation, increased staff effectiveness and, because of the added safety element and higher levels of care, fewer occupancy issues and increased length of stay.
We examined the role of technology in the CCRC setting in our recent Great Disconnect research paper. See how some communities are bridging that gap in the assisted living level in a recent edition of Senior Housing Business.
MARKETING INSIGHT: Technology could be the key for providers to redefine, rebuild and rebrand their assisted living levels. Developing and deploying technology will not only improve experience for both residents and their families, but making consistent, easy-to-access technologies a priority in living and healthcare spaces will be a necessity to attract the new generations of tech-savvy adults.
Contact us to see how technology could make a positive impact on the occupancy or bottom line for your community or organization.
The Varsity Team