Recently, Argentum published an article about closing the tech infrastructure gap at senior living communities. The article accurately observed that “…with each year, the new residents who move to senior living communities will be more fluent in the use of technology—and more eager to use it.” As we prepare for the upcoming Argentum event in April, we should keep our eyes open. The signs are all there that it’s true – the time to plan is now, because seniors are ready to use technology:
Sign 1: Communities reap tangible benefits from technology, and are creating frictionless, tech-enabled environments.
Communities operate better when they’re tech-enabled. Technology helps support staff and care providers, reducing the risk of burnout. In other industries, it’s been evident for years that technology improves customer satisfaction and quality of life for its most avid users. According to gerontologist Dr. Lydia Manning, “Senior living leaders are putting residents’ desires and needs at the center of technology investment planning.” Communities know technology will be a significant customer satisfier, and are preparing now.
Sign 2: Adoption rates are on the rise.
As one might expect, as technology evolves to play a greater role in all of our lives, seniors are no exception. With no signs of slowing, adoption rates continue to trend upward according to Gary , CEO of Hotel Internet Services, a provider of secure wired and wireless internet services for senior living communities. “The adoption rate increases every year,” he said. “Many seniors are very savvy in their use of technology now, and they’ve made it a part of their daily lives.”
Sign 3: Consumerism encourages communities to adapt or be “left behind.”
Kimberly Borts, director of charitable giving and communications at Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community noted, “We feel as though we’ve got to be on the forefront of this. If you’re not, you’re just going to be left behind.” The acknowledgement that communities require technology in order to remain profitable indicates its end users have come to expect tech-enabled frictionless service and experience.
Sign 4: Communities are enlisting residents to inform technology purchases.
Borts also noted that Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community consulted directly with residents in their technology planning. Dr. Manning also suggested using resident and staff satisfaction surveys to further collect real end-user wish lists for new technology.
Sign 5: Move-out rates are lower for tech-enabled communities.
As Dr. Manning noted, “When residents and staff members have access to technology that supports them, they have lower rates of move out or turnover, respectively, as well as higher levels of resident satisfaction.” Residents are using and enjoying smart home features, connected wellness and social engagement platforms, and environmental controls that make their lives less complex, rather than adding layers of technology that used to be considered confusing for the aging population.
The signs are there and the time is now. Every day, more and more seniors become comfortable with technology, and even expect it in their homes. In the time it takes to research, select and implement a new technology in your community, adoption rates will continue to climb. It’s important to be ready as more and more tech-savvy seniors move in to your community.
Want to learn more about tech-enabling your community? Schedule a meeting with Oneview Healthcare’s Rebeka Rivera at Argentum 2019 to talk all things senior technology.