Smart Aging: Make Sure Your Facility Supports it

Smart Aging: Make Sure Your Facility Supports it

Smart aging is an increasingly pressing topic having a profound impact on the well-being of seniors. It’s a fantastic AI-driven intelligence solution that uses web, mobile, and voice-assisted platforms like Alexa to enhance social connection, improve personal enrichment, add an extra level of security, and provide access to state-of-the-art healthcare. It’s been incredibly impactful during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing senior living community residents to socialize with loved ones and feel safe knowing their health needs will be met.

Smart Aging: Make Sure Your Facility Supports it.

If they’re not already, senior living providers must leverage today’s most advanced technologies to empower their residences to live a more independent, connected, and healthier life.

The Role of Technology in Smart Aging

Smart aging promotes senior well-being through the seamless integration of the latest technologies into their daily lives. It’s critically important to improving seniors’ lives, mitigating the health effects of aging, and improving the overall quality of senior living environments.

Following four main smart aging areas are considered to improve seniors’ quality of life:

  • Living environment, including housing as well as issues like accessibility, safety, and having basic needs met.
  • Mental capabilities as they relate to psychological well-being and overall quality of life.
  • Social experiences such as digital communications with relatives and friends, support groups, online classes, leisure activities, and artistic expression.
  • Physical well-being as it relates to physical activity, physical function, and high quality of physical well-being.

There are also four categories of smart aging-related technologies:

  • Information technology that supports social connections as well as contact with healthcare providers.
  • Medical systems and devices used to remotely monitor residents’ health.
  • Bio-technology to improve health and living systems.
  • Robotics supporting residents through tasks like food service delivery and hands-free temperature checks.

Smart aging technology components include things like wearables and telehealth services that significantly contribute to a better quality of life and improve everyday living. For instance, with telehealth technologies, seniors become more aware of their health with minimal effort needed for doctor’s visits, which, in turn, lets them become more proactive in keeping themselves fit and well while remaining independent.

Does Your Senior Living Facility Make the Grade?

Smart aging technology is an investment that benefits residents and providers alike. For facilities, it allows them to offer a more attractive resident experience and increases overall community satisfaction resulting in higher occupancy rates. For residents, it makes it easier to continue social connections and build fulfilling, active lifestyles. And the benefits will continue long after the pandemic is under control.

To ensure residents can take full advantage of everything smart aging technology offers, it’s crucial to have a Wi-Fi system in place that supports continuous streaming technologies like remote patient monitoring, video conferencing, and “store and forward” secure communications. Medical Grade Wi-Fi® from HealthSignals’ offers secure, campus-wide coverage that guarantees residents stay connected whenever and wherever they need to.

Contact us today to learn more.

How Technology has helped Seniors during COVID-19

How Technology has helped Seniors during COVID-19

At the start of 2020, no one could have imagined how much more crucial technology would become for residents in senior living residences. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technology adoption for communities across the country, with facilities investing in technologies that keep residents and essential employees physically safe and emotionally well.

How Technology has helped Seniors during COVID-19

While technology has played a vital role in senior care for quite some time, since the beginning of COVID-19, it’s become more important than ever. Together with streamlining workflows and facilitating contact tracing, here’s how senior residents are benefiting from what the latest technologies have to offer.

Telehealth

What many refer to as “health care at a distance,” telehealth enhances patient-centered care and helps health providers deliver more personalized care to seniors. Providing telehealth access and services to senior living residents limits their exposure to the coronavirus and other contagions. It also frees up staff to spend more quality time with residents, something in higher demand as

family and friends are limited to virtual visits. Medical Grade Wi-Fi® enables continuous streaming telehealth technologies like video conferencing, remote patient monitoring, and “store and forward” secure communications.

Staying in Touch

With older adults struggling to connect with one another and their families and friends, keeping in touch during lockdowns and periods of isolation is critical to residents’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Video chat platforms like Zoom helps mitigate loneliness and reduce anxiety and stress. Residents can also connect to live streams of town halls where they receive live updates on things like changes to visitation policies.

Recreational Enjoyment

Keeping seniors engaged and entertained during social distancing can be tough. But while group meals, wellness classes, and other group activities have been put on hold, many providers and residents are discovering new ways to socialize and keep busy.

  • Virtual fitness classes are gaining in popularity, with trainers offering remote sessions.
  • Some communities are preprogramming activities like tai-chi, karaoke, and concert series for residents.
  • Residents whose travel plans have been postponed are taking virtual vacations, even sending friends and family virtual postcards.

Other creative solutions include computer classes, VR headsets, and interactive solutions for individual or team gaming, virtual lectures, and even religious ceremonies.

Making the Most of the Holidays

The same video chat platforms that the residents used to stay in touch at other times are now being used to celebrate the holidays with family. Many seniors, their friends and family shared meals with family during the Thanksgiving holiday by being across the screen rather than across the table. For the upcoming holidays, communities are planning activities similar to what worked successfully for them over the Thanksgiving holiday, like

  • Virtual cookie exchanges that involve either sending cookies to each other or everyone enjoying their favorites together onscreen while sipping a favorite hot drink and playing holiday tunes.
  • Residents who want to carry on their gift exchange tradition are having gifts delivered to recipients. Come Christmas day, everyone will jump online to open their gifts “together.”
  • Reading Christmas stories or singing holiday carols together to make the day especially fun for small children.
  • Using Zoom’s share screen feature so everyone can watch a movie together.

Of course, all of these great ideas depend on access to a reliable and fast internet experience. HealthSignals’ Medical Grade Wi-Fi® offers secure, campus-wide coverage that ensures residents stay connected whenever and wherever they need to. Contact us today to learn more.

Changing with the Times: The Essentials Checklist for Senior Living

Changing with the Times: The Essentials Checklist for Senior Living

The COVID-19 health crisis has been the driving force behind a number of changes in the way senior living communities operate. Post-pandemic, many of those changes will likely be permanent as they were inevitably going to be the future course of business in the long term. From digital communications to virtual tours and telehealth, new tools trends represent significant challenges for communities who want to reassure seniors and their families that their living environment is safe and secure.

Here are the top three ways digital tools can and are being used by senior living communities as we move into a new reality.

Virtual Tours

Many providers looking for an easy way to let people “experience” a prospective community are using virtual tours to give people a glimpse inside. They’re an effective way of reaching your audience and can be supplemented with other approaches such as video testimonials from current residents, interactive surveys, links to social media platforms, downloadable brochures, and live chat.

Meeting Safety Concerns Head-on

Striking the right tone during a pandemic can make all the difference in how people perceive a community’s commitment to keeping them safe. Online information sessions that provide high-quality insights establish your organization as a leader and innovator on matters pertaining to senior safety. While it’s true that the older adults’ perception of senior living has changed during the health crisis, most experts agree the future of senior living is optimistic. At a minimum, communities should be transparent about their cleaning and disinfecting procedures, availability of COVID-19 testing, telehealth accessibility, and protocols for dealing with possible infections.

Overcoming Isolation

As many senior communities in the country went into lockdown, the quality of life for older adults suffered, with many residents not able to see friends and family in person for months. Many communities have gotten creative in combating this problem:

  • Video conferences are arranged on a regular basis.
  • In some communities, relatives and other loved ones “visit” through a window or plastic partition.
  • Online activities like bingo and trivia games, meditation sessions, storytelling hours, sing-a-longs or karaoke, and virtual workout sessions are fun and healthy ways to alleviate feelings of loneliness and boredom.

Is Your Senior Living Community Equipped for a New Reality?

The current health crisis has affected all aspects of everyone’s lives and seniors have been particularly hard hit. Senior living communities must work hard to help them navigate these challenging times during their “golden years.” Digital tools can play a huge role in continuing to give residents the quality experience they and their caregivers expect.

Medical Grade Wi-Fi® can help your community meet the its residents’ changing digital needs by giving them quality, campus-wide internet service. For communities who want to get up to speed in providing the latest in tech tools to their residents but lack the resources to invest in the needed hardware, Medical-Grade Wi-Fi as a service (WaaS) can be the answer.

Contact HealthSignals today to learn more.

COVID-19 has Taught Senior Living and Care Facilities to Pivot Sharply

COVID-19 has Taught Senior Living and Care Facilities to Pivot Sharply

COVID-19 has prompted senior living and care facilities across the country to reevaluate their value proposition and refocus operations. Amenities like fitness centers, housekeeping, dining options, and other lifestyle options remain essential features, but the pandemic has caused providers to make healthcare, safety, and online connectivity top priorities.

Transforming the Way Seniors Live

Recent pandemic-driven changes include the way people enter and exit buildings, more frequent hand washing and sanitizing voice-activated elevators and doors, and more. While the latest vaccine roll-out is welcome news, senior living communities realize future planning must focus on pivoting towards more sustainable goals. Creating the full and comfortable life that the residents expect and deserve now requires quick adoption of new solutions and technologies.

Senior living and care facilities no longer have the luxury of gradually improving or upgrading their tech infrastructure. With the vast majority of seniors now online, technology has proven itself to be the driver of high quality of life. It seems simple enough, but for many facilities lacking the capital investment dollars to make a widescale digital leap, it’s a real challenge.

 

Senior Communities Benefit from Making the Switch to Medical-Grade Wi-Fi®

The adoption of telehealth has accelerated, and virtual physician appointments have become the norm during the pandemic. New, HIPAA-compliant technologies such as Medical-Grade Wi-Fi® are essential in providing the best physical, mental, and emotional care to residents. Personal satisfaction also increases as full Wi-Fi access allows residents to stay connected with loved ones via platforms like Facetime, Skype, and Zoom.

Pandemic-related benefits include everything from facilitating reliable automatic contact tracing to enabling self-navigating robots that visit patients, automate food service tasks, and perform hands-free temperature checks. Some facilities have even introduced robotic pets to help seniors mitigate loneliness and isolation.

Facilitating Easy Adoption of the Latest Technologies with a No Capital Investment Option

One of the most significant financial outlays in upgrading or installing new technology is hardware. HealthSignals’ Medical-Grade Wi-Fi®as a service enables senior living communities to provide the high-speed internet residents and staff need without the capital investment needed to build the infrastructure, at predictable lower monthly costs. It’s a cost-efficient solution that also covers:

  • Design
  • Installation
  • Management
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairs and replacements
  • Upgrades

Focus on Quality of Life

COVID-19 has introduced a lot of new challenges for senior living and care facilities. When reassessing their value proposition, senior living providers must now shift their strategic goals. Safety, creative engagement, and access to quality healthcare are all values residents and their families are now keenly interested in having.

Looking ahead, senior communities must pull out all the stops to:

  • Keep residents safe.
  • Tap into technological resources designed to improve residents’ lives.
  • Adopt innovative technologies that not only address the current pandemic but prepare residents and staff for future health crises.

Most if not all the adjustments senior living and care facilities have made due to COVID-19 will stay with us post-crisis. The reliable, fast internet experience provided by HealthSignals’ Medical Grade Wi-Fi® WaaS offers secure, affordable campus-wide coverage that ensures residents have access to all the technological tools they need whenever and wherever they want them. Contact us today to learn more.

How Medical Grade Wi-Fi® can Help Increase Occupancy Rates in Senior Living

How Medical Grade Wi-Fi® can Help Increase Occupancy Rates in Senior Living

They’re an easy target for late night talk show hosts and bemused younger adults, but seniors aged 70 and older are more dialed in and technologically adept than they’re given credit for. A recent AARP study found that adults 50+ currently spend $640 million on tech devices alone. Experts predict that as Baby Boomers age that figure will grow to $84 billion by 2030.

Busting the myth of an inept older generation unsure how to navigate “the internets” is a must for senior living providers who need to understand their older adult consumers if they hope to capture more of this important market share.

Senior Living Occupancy Rates

Senior living occupancy rates have remained relatively stable since the high of 90.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014. But there was a softening in the 1st quarter of 2019, with the rate dropping 2.1 percentage points to 88.1 and another .3% in the 2nd quarter to 87.8%. The numbers vary greatly from market to market with analysts pointing to factors like new zoning and regulations, shifting demographics, and local economic performance.

What do all these statistics really add up to? Senior housing occupancy is at its lowest level since the 2nd quarter of 2011. This changing landscape in senior living presents a real challenge to operators who must continually seek out and offer new amenities that seniors demand and can afford while creating a revenue stream that supports their implementation.

The Benefits of Custom Designed Medical Grade Wi-Fi®

Wi-Fi is a hot topic in senior living these days. Sadly, the talk is often centered on how frustrating it is. Medical Grade Wi-Fi®, much like enterprise wireless infrastructures that businesses use, can be the starting point for occupancy success. It offers senior communities a valuable opportunity to provide better care and enhance the quality of life for their residents which, of course, makes their properties more appealing.

Benefits include:

  • High capacity, high-reliability networks that can handle large numbers of devices.
  • HIPAA-compliant security.
  • Seamless, wall-to-wall coverage to ensure the ability to roam across the facility without losing signal.

Medical Grade Wi-Fi® is also designed to eliminate single points of failure and deliver signal strengths of -65dB or greater. And with maintenance and service as well as 24/7 monitoring services included in the cost, the service more than pays for its implementation.

Senior Living Communities are Listening

As the next generation of seniors makes the move to assisted living, many senior communities are transforming themselves to meet their residents’ tech expectations. High on the list is quality internet service that includes campus-wide wireless capabilities. That over 80% of CFOs surveyed said they have invested in internet connectivity over the past year shows communities are listening and working to deliver what seniors are looking for. This investment can be an important differentiator when trying to appeal to new residents.

Keeping up with the latest technologies and the changing demands of seniors is imperative if you want to keep housing options enticing to new residents. Moving forward, winning communities will be those who understand giving residents what they truly value is a great way to make their property more attractive, improve resident retention, and increase occupancy rates.

Contact HealthSignals today to learn more.

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