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.

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.

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

Changing with the Times: The Essentials Checklist for Senior Living

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.

Senior Organizations: Technology Tools on the Rise

Senior Organizations: Technology Tools on the Rise

As senior living organizations embrace a smart tech approach for their residents, they have no shortage of options to choose from. To succeed, they must understand what their residents most need from them.

From voice-activated personal assistants to movement sensors, all the pieces are in place to create smart home environments in senior living. Doing so can position communities and facilities for future growth and profitability. That’s because the goal of these new technologies is not simply to let providers know what residents are doing. The data collected helps them build a better living experience and makes the staff more efficient and effective.

Seniors, like everyone else, want to maintain as much control over their environment and life as possible. To get there requires much more than automating lights and strapping a tracking device on their wrist.

 

Telehealth

An innovation that was already becoming more popular has in the age of COVID-19 become an absolute necessity. “Health care at a distance” has taken on a whole new meaning at a time when everyone is being urged to practice physical distancing. A market that was once expected to expand to over $265 billion by 2026, telehealth will now likely see a much faster and bigger expansion. Facilities that haven’t done so yet would be wise to invest in Medical Grade Wi-Fi® to seamlessly accommodate technologies like video conferencing, remote patient monitoring, and “store and forward” secure communications.

Recreational Enjoyment

Interactive screens for gaming purposes, computer classes, and VR headsets are just a few of the modern technologies seniors are embracing. Robotic pets foster meaningful connections through play. And many seniors are mastering the art of Zoom and attending online improv, Tai Chi, and yoga classes. All these innovations are designed to keep seniors socially connected and help them enjoy life to the fullest.

Smart Everything

From the latest digital sidekick, ElliQ, which helps less tech-savvy seniors stay connected, to lighting and keyless entry, smart technology is being integrated into just about every design element. The latest innovations include:

  • Contactless fall detection systems that can be installed in senior community homes and rooms. Automated and accurate, the solution eliminates the need for wearables (which some seniors may forget to put on), cameras, and no buttons that need to be pushed to call for help.
  • Awaiting FDA approval is a toilet seat that can detect heart failure in high-risk patients, measure blood pressure, and check blood oxygenation levels.
  • Amazon’s Alexa is now HIPAA compliant which means a resident’s health data can now be accessed securely.
  • AARP’s Alcove, a new virtual reality product that enables families to keep in touch. Senior living communities are embracing the technology as a way to combat isolation.

Some facilities are also adding digital signage and interactive digital displays, some with Alexa connectivity, to help support physical therapy, make exercising more fun, and keep residents informed of daily activity offerings.

Enhanced Networking Capabilities

To best serve your residents you need sufficient bandwidth that blankets every part of your community, not only common areas. Without sufficient internet speed, security, and affordability, your senior living community can experience multiple audio and video problems.

HealthSignals’ Medical Grade Wi-Fi® offers reliable, secure, campus-wide coverage that ensures your residents can connect whenever and wherever they need to. Our Cellular Boost Solutions delivers continuous drop-free cellular coverage for all the users inside the campus, making technology adoption on-the-go even easier. Contact us to learn more.

 

Long Term Care in the Digital Age

Long Term Care in the Digital Age

Technology has permeated every aspect of modern life making people more connected, efficient, and mobile than ever. It has also transformed long-term patient care, giving healthcare providers more access to information and simpler, safer ways to care for patients, while allowing seniors more freedom and independence. Here’s a brief look at the state of long-term care in the digital age.

The Current State of Long-Term Care

The healthcare industry has been implementing technological-driven solutions for some time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically pushed the timeline forward. Virtual services like telehealth appointments are quickly becoming the norm as both doctors and patients realize the numerous benefits, and mobile devices offer caregivers and healthcare providers easy access to information for better patient care.

Using a secure Wi-Fi connection, patients can now join a telehealth conference and see their doctor remotely. Even the most high-risk patients like those in long term care or seniors in assisted living facilities can meet with their doctors without exposing themselves to potentially deadly viruses.

Healthcare isn’t easy and requires a lot of technical data. Luckily, all that data is now available from the palm of your hand. Studies have shown that 84% of long term caregivers rely on the internet for information on health topics, reviewing online reviews of drugs or treatments, or for assistance with their responsibilities. Technology is giving healthcare providers the knowledge they need to better care for patients.

The Future of Long-Term Care

Technology is always advancing, creating more efficient, innovative ways to provide long-term care. Connected devices and Internet of Things (IoT) technology are allowing patients and senior living residents to enjoy more independent lives.

Small GPS devices are starting to be used to track patient whereabouts. Wandering is a serious risk for seniors, and studies have shown that 60% of people with dementia will wander at some point in their lives. GPS-enabled devices worn by at-risk patients can send mobile alerts to healthcare providers if they go beyond a set boundary. This allows patients more freedom and independence, while allowing healthcare workers to spend time with other patients.

Electrical use monitoring is a relatively new technology being used by healthcare providers to monitor the use appliances like ovens and toasters. If an appliance is turned on, an alert is sent to the caregiver. They can monitor the alerts to make sure that the appliances are turned off. This new technology allows seniors living at home, in independent living, or in senior living facilities to safely retain their independence.

How Organizations Can Prepare for the Future

Technology is the future of long-term patient care, and it’s important that facilities are prepared to adopt these changes. One of the best things you can do to prepare is to reinforce your wireless network. Having a strong Wi-Fi presence throughout your facility will help keep all your personnel, patients, and devices connected and working at maximum efficiency. You’ll be able to adopt new technologies as they arrive without worrying if your network is set up to handle it.

Installing Medical Grade Wi-Fi® can help prepare you for the future. It offers 99% reliability with a secure, high network capacity to support all your present and future devices. If you’re interested in boosting your technological capabilities, contact the experts at HealthSignals today.

Follow Us

Subscribe to get the latest news from us