Improving the resident experience, increasing resident engagement, having a family engagement strategy - what does it all mean anyway? More importantly, why do you need it?
Dr. Joan Cahill from Trinity College has researched this topic and provides some intriguing insights. Her human factors research is based on the concept that there are three primary indicators of wellness within the senior population: biological, psychological, and social. When we support each indicator, residents are more fulfilled and active in the community ecosystem.
By adopting a “biopsychosocial” model of wellness for residents and families, communities can offer a holistic approach to aging. True holistic health is no longer a one-dimensional, resident-centered focus, but rather a multi-dimensional, relationship-centered focus that connects all participants in each resident’s life. Independence and quality of life have been linked to interdependence (the support from participants in a senior’s personal and professional community). Incorporating these concepts via technology further supports successful aging and a positive, measurable, resident experience.
Imagine information flowing freely between care providers, families, and residents all in one view for community leaders. Technology is changing. Now there are solutions that provide a wide range of support for residents and families. Such products may include functions like entertainment, communication, education, telehealth, digital signage, community activities, activities of daily living (ADL) monitoring, exercise and diet management, fall prediction, wander management, brain training, and much more. Typically, these solutions involve a combination of connected devices (i.e. TV, tablets, smartphones, wearables, and environmental sensors). By creating a customized, connected ecosystem, communities can involve seniors and their families in new, personal and meaningful ways. That is what resident engagement is all about. Is the case of the total equaling more than the sum of its parts.