Senior Living Communities Invest in Technology to Improve Resident Care
ATLANTA — As internet-connected technology continues to become ubiquitous in our everyday lives, residents at senior living facilities across the United States are using more and more devices.
“From seven years ago to today, the average resident has gone from two devices to seven to nine devices,” said Kevin Merrill, business development director at Inviacom during an “Investing in Technology” panel at the InterFace Seniors Housing Southeast conference. The event was held Wednesday, Aug. 29 at the Westin Buckhead hotel in Atlanta, drawing nearly 520 developers, lenders, investors and operators from the senior living space.
“Seniors are adopting the technology and bringing it into communities like you wouldn’t believe,” added Merrill. “We continue to see the evolution of technology pushing in and contributing to the improvement of every aspect of the community.
The panel was moderated by Matt Haywood, CEO of Tazergy, and tackled how seniors housing communities can invest in technology that both increases revenue and improves resident care.
Participating were: Kevin Isakson, director of sales and marketing at Isakson Living; Jesse Marinko, CEO and founder at Phoenix Senior Living; Dan Phelps, SVP Healthcare at ServingIntel; and Merrill.
Technology Empowers Businesses, Prospects
Technology is changing the way that those in the senior living space do business, from Internet connectivity, keyless entry and digital signage to more efficient client relationship management (CRM) software.
It is even changing the way that residents decide where to live.
“People are now doing a substantial amount of their research over the Internet and the buyer is coming in extremely knowledgeable,” said Isakson. “You need to know where they are in the knowledge cycle.
“Early on when I got into this industry you trained people on taking a buyer when they walked in through the door all the way through to the close. Today’s buyer isn’t coming in at step one. They are coming in much later in the process.”
Other advancements in senior living tech include check-in systems, expanded security systems and tools for caregivers that make serving residents easier while retaining a personal touch.
“Ultimately at the end of the day we are trying to create fewer steps for our caregivers and create more hand-holding time,” said Marinko.
“We are trying to make data-based decisions,” he continued. “Business intelligence allows us to make decisions that aren’t subjective. We can figure out fall risk, times of falls, medicine management errors and staffing issues that are occurring on different shifts.”
And even more tech is coming down the pipeline to serve the growing needs of increasingly connected seniors.
Merrill, whose company Inviacom provides wireless Internet connectivity for entire communities, told the crowd in attendance that the need for connected senior living facilities is only going to grow.
“The communities have to be prepared that technology is coming,” he said. “Baby boomers are utilizing technology at home with multiple devices and they are going to be brining that technology with them.”
— David Cohen