The Updated Maslow’s Pyramid: How Your CCRC Needs to Respond.

The Updated Maslow’s Pyramid: How Your CCRC Needs to Respond.

Updated Maslow's Pyramid.Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a psychological theory outlining what we, as human beings, need to survive and thrive. For those unfamiliar with it, the model is structured as a pyramid. Our most pressing needs are the pyramid’s base, involving our physiological needs: food, water, shelter, etc. As the pyramid climbs, we reach more psychological needs: accomplishment, creativity, and so on.

It’s a popular model for understanding human needs, but here’s the problem. The theory was developed by Abraham Maslow all the way back in 1943—well before the advent of tech like home computers, smartphones, or Wi-Fi. And while these gadgets might just seem like novelties, for certain populations–like continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs)—this access can save lives.

Updating Maslow: Access to Services

It’s a little tongue-in-cheek to lump Wi-Fi in there with food and water, but jokes aside, there’s a strong case for updating Maslow’s Hierarchy with access to essential tech services—particularly for CCRCs.

Senior living facilities are powered by technology. Research by Pew found that a full 67% of seniors use the internet these days, and over 51% of seniors have high-speed internet at home. And should these seniors move into assisted living facilities, you can bet that they’ll expect the same quality of life as they’re accustomed to.

And really, why wouldn’t they? They’ll still need to keep in touch with friends and family over Facetime or Skype, and they will still need access to all of the entertainment they enjoy at home. These used to be luxuries, but today, they are essential services that every connected CCRC should offer.

This connectivity is important from a resident satisfaction standpoint, but just as important are the ways that connected facilities support better resident care. When you consider the value of connected medical facilities, it’s not a stretch at all to imagine connectivity’s place in Maslow’s Hierarchy.

Supporting Physician/Resident Relationships

Medical Grade Wi-Fi® plays a powerful role in telemedicine and the physician/resident relationship.

In one survey of U.S. physicians, 93% of those who used telemedicine applications agreed that it helped improve patient access to care, and 77% agreed that the applications helped both patient and provider better manage their time.

With the right communications tool behind them, CCRCs can ensure that their residents enjoy the benefits of high-speed internet while enabling new types of physician outreach. For example, the fast transfers offered by fiber optic Wi-Fi makes it easy for residents to call their physicians, video conference, receive/transmit medical imagery, share files, and more.

Through this approach, CCRCs can differentiate themselves (and increase occupancy rates) by positioning themselves as enhanced facilities offering a higher standard of care.

Future-Proofing With Quality Care

Telemedicine is the way the world is moving, and patients of all ages are taking advantage. CCRCs are no exception. Facility owners should take a look at their current infrastructure and what Wi-Fi enabled services they offer. We’re willing to bet there’s some room for new services—and these services may completely change the way you deliver care.

TeleHealth in Senior Living: Is your Facility Well Equipped?

TeleHealth in Senior Living: Is your Facility Well Equipped?

Telehealth in Senior LivingEven though the days of the common house call are long gone, for many patients traveling to see a doctor can be a challenge. Seniors face personal mobility issues and transportation hurdles that often prevent them from getting the care they need.

TeleHealth is an exciting opportunity for an aging population to receive adequate care without the worry of how they’ll travel to the doctor’s office. Senior living communities who integrate TeleHealth into their facilities offer their residents a valuable resource that keeps them active and engaged.

What is TeleHealth?

Sometimes referred to as telemedicine or digital health, TeleHealth uses a number of technologies and devices to connect patients with their healthcare providers. Remote appointments, biofeedback sensors, and other connected devices are used for sharing information between patients and physicians who can now remotely share their expertise.

The Benefits of TeleHealth

One of the biggest contributors to rising healthcare costs is the increased rates hospitals and doctors charge for visits and tests at their facilities. TeleHealth solutions can reduce costs while enhancing health outcomes by:

  • Improving management of chronic diseases.
  • Sharing health professional staffing.
  • Reducing travel times.
  • Reducing the number and length of hospital stays.

It should come as no surprise that TeleHealth is a rapidly growing component of healthcare in the U.S., with older adults enthusiastically embracing wearables and mobile health applications to monitor their weight, diet, exercise, blood glucose, sleep patterns, blood pressure, chronic pain, and more. Digital healthcare lets them stay connected to support mechanisms while living more productive, enjoyable lives.

TeleHealth and Senior Living

TeleHealth technologies will become a way of life for millions of baby boomers, 10,000 of whom are turning 65 every single day. Figuring out how to support their healthcare needs is crucial because they are managing more chronic conditions such as diabetes. And while one in four Americans deals with multiple chronic conditions that limit their daily activities, the number rises to three in four Americans aged 65 and older.

TeleHealth platforms encompass a wide variety of technologies:

  • Mobile devices
  • Audio-video linkups
  • Wearable devices
  • Connected devices

With most trips or transfers to hospitals unnecessary, TeleHealth solutions in your senior living facility offer residents improved safety, care, comfort, and convenience they may not find elsewhere. It’s especially attractive to seniors who are living in areas that aren’t close to medical facilities or hospitals.

With all these benefits, why then are so few senior living facilities using a TeleHealth platform to connect residents to outside healthcare services? Much of it has come down to healthcare plans not covering the services for independent living or assisted living communities. The good news is that as of 2020, Medicare Advantage plans will be permitted to cover TeleHealth Services delivered to senior living facilities.

Is Your Facility Ready?

TeleHealth programs need proper broadband to handle the service. Without it, you face the risk of dropped conferences, out-of-sync audio, and frozen video. Four factors define the high-quality connectivity needed: provider and equipment reliability, security, sufficient speed, and affordability.

Senior living and continuing care retirement communities should expect to see TeleHealth become much more prominent in the coming years. Crucial to its success will be consistent, high-quality connectivity.

HealthSignals’ Medical Grade Wi-Fi® is a future proof solution that offers reliable and secure campus wide WiFi and cellular coverage and ensures your residents have 24/7 access to top medical care at their fingertips.

Contact HealthSignals 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.

Is Enterprise-Level, Medical Grade Wi-Fi® Worth it For Your Establishment?

Is Enterprise-Level, Medical Grade Wi-Fi® Worth it For Your Establishment?

It’s well known that medical facilities of all kinds are becoming increasingly digital. From single-doctor offices to large clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals, as well as continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and long-term post-acute care (LTPAC) facilities, everyone is deploying wired and wireless networks to serve doctors and nurses, support staff, business users, residents, visitors, and first responders.

 

The Wi-Fi services that have become ubiquitous in coffee shops, airports, hotels, and even grocery stores have come to be expected in medical facilities as well, and facilities are responding by making significant Wi-Fi investments.

However, medical facilities have special wireless-connectivity needs that most other businesses don’t. Consider:

With the increasing use of wireless connectivity by doctors, nurses, staff, and even medical devices, Wi-Fi service must offer 100% coverage and near-100% reliability.

Medical records are increasingly electronic and shared among multiple devices, both wired and wireless, in many medical facilities. Wi-Fi systems in these facilities must meet stringent HIPAA security standards to protect patient medical information.

For these reasons and more, consumer or commercial-grade Wi-Fi just won’t cut it in medical, senior living or continuing care facilities.

Medical-Grade Wi-Fi®

To meet these more-demanding requirements, HealthSignals designs and implements Medical Grade Wi-Fi® systems for CCRCs, ALFs, SNFs and LTPAC facilities. These systems are engineered for the diverse needs of senior-care facilities. Medical-grade Wi-Fi brings these facilities many advantages, such as:

  • Better coverage: Whereas a Wi-Fi system for an office, factory, or warehouse might provide 95% coverage of the floor space, Medical Grade Wi-Fi® guarantees 100% coverage over every square inch of your facility, with no dead spots and no dropouts as a mobile device moves from one area of the building to another.
  • Higher signal strength: Medical Grade Wi-Fi® signals are 56% stronger than enterprise-grade signals, ensuring robust connectivity throughout the facility.
  • Greater capacity: Not only does a Medical Grade Wi-Fi® system enable more devices to connect, but it also enables prioritization of mission-critical devices and users to ensure they always get access no matter how many devices are competing with it.
  • Tighter security: Medical-grade Wi-Fi® meets the highest standards of security for comprehensive HIPAA compliance.
    Better reliability: A medical facility cannot tolerate downtime in its wireless network. HealthSignals’ Medical Grade Wi-Fi® systems are engineered for redundancy, so that no single failure can compromise connectivity. The result is guaranteed uptime over 99.9%.

One Wi-Fi System, Multiple User Types

A further advantage of Medical Grade Wi-Fi® is that one system can be segregated into multiple subsystems to meet the needs of different classes of users. Medical devices can communicate with one subsystem, facility staff can use a different subsystem, residents yet another, and visitors another still.

Each subsystem is optimized for the different needs of each user type. Medical devices need high reliability, whereas the residents’ subsystem might be optimized for streaming media and web surfing. Each subsystem is segregated from the others so that no users have access to systems or resources they shouldn’t have.

Future-Proof Your Wi-Fi

Is Medical Grade Wi-Fi® worth the extra planning and cost? Absolutely—not only in terms of your current requirements, but in meeting the shifting needs brought about by changing demographics, emerging technologies, and more-stringent regulatory requirements.  A Medical Grade Wi-Fi® system has the flexibility both to meet your current needs and to change with your changing environment.

HealthSignals is the only Wi-Fi service provider that has the confidence to provide a Performance Guarantee.  If something is not working, its is fixed at their cost, not the customers.

Contact HealthSignals today to learn more.