INTOUCHLINK AND AETONIX PARTNER TO BRING HIPAA COMPLIANT SENIOR LIVING FOCUSED VIDEO CALLING TO NORTH AMERICA
LAKEWOOD, NJ & TORONTO, ON – INTOUCHLINK, LP through a partnership with AETONIX (OTTAWA, ON) is excited to announce the senior living launch of aTouchAway, a HIPAA Compliant Video Calling Solution that further expands upon InTouchLink’s award-winning hospitality and engagement-based SaaS solution eco-system for independent, skilled nursing and assisted living communities.
InTouchLink believes aTouchAway will enable a critical solution that provides families, and senior living operators the opportunity to keep residents feeling connected, engaged and happy in an isolated post-COVID-19 world. The technology is unique because users don’t need to log in, download links or remember passwords and with easy one-touch calling, seniors and adult children can easily get in touch without any technical aptitude.
“As both the communities we serve and members of our own team have had the pandemic hit close to home, the need for both staff and residents to stay connected with loved ones who can’t visit in person becomes ever more important. There has never been a better time for aTouchAway to help bring smiles back to residents’ faces.”
Jonathan Seliger CEO InTouchLink
Since 2007, InTouchLink’s award-winning platform has been bolstering productivity and improving the lives of senior living operators and their communities’ residents and family. All features in the system were developed based on resident, family and operator feedback and as a result, the platform addresses more specific seniors-housing needs than any other option available today.
The InTouchLink system has been custom developed to best serve our unique sector and was built on the premise that everyone deserves to be connected. We have a team of senior-living veterans and technology gurus to ensure we can effectively deliver this promise to everyone residing in a senior living community. InTouchLink is a powerful and incredibly easy-to-use system.
For media inquiries, please contact Justin Godderis at 877-784-6868 ext.710 or firstname.lastname@example.org
At Aetonix (https://aetonix.com), we recognize the enormous strain on all levels of healthcare systems. By developing easy-to-use telehealth platforms, our solutions focus on what really matters – effective and efficient care. Aetonix was founded in February 2014 with a mission to address the increasing demands for caregiving solutions for home caregivers and for those in group facility settings, regardless of geographical distance between caregiver and the cared for.
The aTouchAway™ solution is an innovative software platform built to manage the care of chronic and complex patients. It is the only home health platform that offers secure video and text communications, a robust workflow engine, integrated care plan management, and comprehensive reporting dashboards – all in a secure digital platform.
For media inquiries, please contact Rob Lane at email@example.com
How new technologies are improving resident engagement in retirement communities with in-suite programs & communications
Leo Rubini – 11.3.2020
The reality of the current landscape has meant a disruption to the status quo and how we go about our lives. Leadership teams within retirement communities are looking for ways to future proof and improve communications within a newly emerging world of social distance practices. Here are some of the top 5 technological trends and tools that Program Directors, Innovation, and Life Enrichment teams are utilizing to drive communications & resident engagement.
1. In-suite TV channel
In support of safer living environments, many Activity Director’s are requesting all community news, (and increasingly even activities such as in-suite BINGO, LIVE performances, or chapel service, pre-recorded events, youtube streams, etc) be delivered directly into the resident suites. At times when social distancing practices may be required, these initiatives are driving significantly higher levels of resident engagement as noted on resident satisfaction surveys- (an average of 52%)
2. INSTANT messages pushed to lobbies and resident suites by smartphone.
Rather than updating old fashioned bulletin boards at multiple locations /floors and run the risk of transmission with printed materials, admin teams are able to simply push instant color-coded messaging to lobby TVs, common room areas such as dining rooms, or more importantly directly to a dedicated in-suite channel-from any device.
3. Technology that addresses the resident need state.
It’s been a challenge for many within life enrichment to navigate the current pandemic while maintaining high or even adequate levels of resident engagement. One of the most significant technological shifts we have seen in retirement communities in the last 6 months has been observed through case studies that demonstrate the importance of using technology to cater to the resident’s well being. This is done partially by paying particular attention to the types of content that can best resonate against a resident need state (physical, mental, and spiritual). Innovation teams are looking for creative ways and thought leadership on how how to best manage one or multiple locations with customized activity programs and initiatives that can be programmed directly into the resident suites at specific times of the day and that cater to all needs.
4. Tools need to be robust, easy to use, and cloud-based
With the landscape shifting rapidly, admin teams are increasingly seeking solutions that can simplify tasks and allow for organic and ad hoc changes. Management teams cannot afford to have time wasted which is why instant content updates have become so critical. Automation tools that manage calendars & menus, communications, brand assets, events, and all community news have now become essential components of the modern retirement landscape. Teams need to be able to do more with less bandwidth and keep the resident experience at the forefront of these initiatives.
5. Focus on hospitality & overall community engagement has become a real thing
What appeared to be an afterthought 20 years ago, most designers, architects, and innovation teams today are looking towards the future needs of retirement communities by exploring new ways of delivering higher levels of hospitality engagement with technology that enhances the resident and guest experience. Whether you are listening to jazz music in the lounge or atrium or relaxing to calming naturescape videos or art photo galleries in the library, these details actually make a difference. We all know the feeling we get when immersed in well-designed hotel spaces such a lobby/library/lounge areas. These spaces can make us feel cozy and make us want to stay there and hang out a while. These intangibles are exactly the details that should not be overlooked. We are seeing an increased emphasis on hospitality engagement as CEOs, leadership, and innovation teams are recognizing the simple reality that if people like the look and feel of a community when on a community tour, they will start to envision this as their home.
If you could use help or had any questions related to some of the top industry tools that are driving higher levels of community & hospitality engagement, simply reach out to us! We’d be happy to share the latest case studies and trends that are making a massive difference.
17 Best enterprise solutions for senior living operators
By JG – 10.8.2020
Every senior living community operator struggles with the same day-to-day complexities. In order for site-level stakeholders and executives to get on board with certain initiatives, the organization must create a well crafted, compelling, and an easy to adopt strategy that covers all these bases: marketing/corporate brand consistency, uniform family/resident engagement, a consistent look and feel across properties, corporate oversight, remote corporate menu and calendar management, promoting active lifestyles and differentiators, etc.
At this stage, all of these initiatives sound like a lot of work, with multiple technical systems being utilized, and at a high expense. While that may have been true in years past, modern-day tools can assist your organization with all of these corporate initiatives at a low cost and with a compellingly high ROI.
Here are 17 of the best enterprise solutions for senior living operators.
Activity program diversity supports dimensions of wellness. Finding the balance between a calendar that’s easy to manage from HQ and yet is aesthetically pleasing, is attainable. You should look for a solution that can use one remote login to access and monitor calendars across multiple communities. The ability to create and manage corporate templates, branding, and content, supports brand consistency and strategic marketing initiatives (akin to that consistent “feel” you get when you walk into a Starbucks.) In addition to instant calendar creation with category and dimensions of wellness tagging, look for a tool that will save hours of work vs. the old MS Publisher, Excel or Word calendar designs. Yes, community calendars can be gorgeous and easy to manage, while having the ability to update remotely, export, print, and even display on screens across the residence.
Forget about the time-killing days of copy-pasting menu items for each and every community under your banner. Instead, save hours of design and printing time by using an automatic menu management platform. Quickly manage menus from any device and from anywhere – in or out of the community. Your chosen solution should be able to maintain a bank of food items, issue a corporate menu to all your communities, and allow onsite-based culinary staff to make changes as necessary – substantially speeding up the menu management process. Maintain your corporate menu consistency across locations and with access to info through print, Amazon Alexa, web, and TVs.
As a corporation, you’re looking for ways to better streamline and manage requests coming from residents and their families. Reporting on the volume of requests and the speed of resolution across multiple properties doesn’t have to be a manual process anymore. For better organization and faster actioning, consider implementing an on-line Service Request Manager (SRM) that allows residents and family to submit requests and place reservations in one place.
Allow them to easily submit items like repair requests (broken lightbulb, clogged drain,etc.), general suggestions (new menu items, activity types, etc.) and reservations (dinner, a seat on a trip or a spot at an activity, etc.) Enabling your staff to collect, track, and report on all requests in one central system (any device, anywhere, anytime), makes for easy audits and saves countless hours (think fewer calls to the front desk). Still, the front desk can still log phone calls, emails, in-person or written requests – integrate with an existing maintenance/work order program like Direct Supply TELS for added productivity. Allowing residents and families to seamlessly correspond directly with your community, have it automatically go to the right department (IT, Maintenance, Culinary,etc.), and get automatic updates when a ticket status changes, really adds to the quality of their community experience and sets your homes apart from the rest.
While phone calls, mailed calendars, and email have been tried and true tools for communities to engage families and residents, it can often take many administrative hours while also varying in quality of execution from site to site. Enterprise control of communication that encourages proactive engagement is much more easily accomplished through a centralized portal. Families and residents are directed to sign up and connect directly with your community (your corporate messaging and branding is consistent throughout the experience). In addition, the portal can be accessed from any device and from anywhere in the world. Families can send requests directly to departments within your community if they have maintenance, dietary, administrative, or other requests. Best of all, share your newsletters, important updates, community photos, calendars, and menus.It’s great marketing, communication, and engagement in one tool!
From head office, having visibility into how each community is marketing itself, messaging to prospects, residents, and families, while also ensuring the optimal diversity of activities and menu items, is much easier said than done. Here is where the Community TV Channel comes in! Keep residents more informed around the building and encourage happy feelings. Transparency and communication require less work and effort than ever before. Broadcasting live weather and national, local, and community news allows residents to feel connected without the necessity of having to print these items on a daily basis. Pre-program videos to play on your channel including those from YouTube or from a designated educational video library. Quickly update information throughout the building without running to every notice board and to every floor. Free up your front desk staff time so they can help residents directly instead of answering repetitive questions that can now be addressed by your community TVs. Photo galleries showcase the vibrancy of activities and events within your community, while menus keep residents excited about what’s available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (use your administrator view to remotely see if the community is adhering to corporate menu guidelines). Don’t forget to highlight staff members (new or existing) on your channel – promote resident and staff connection on a regular basis.
Maintaining consistent messaging, providing diverse and informative live or pre-recorded video content to one or multiple communities is within your control. Investing in an in-suite community channel comes with a multitude of benefits for your organization. The same great content that residents see on your communal TVs is readily available for them from the comfort of their room. Rotating menus, activity calendars, weather, and news are live! Residents with mobility issues can get the same great content that everyone else gets. Announcements like a bus leaving, the elevator being serviced, or an outbreak notification can be communicated in real-time. Programming leadership will love the versatility of a solution that can work with existing cable line infrastructure in communities. The last thing you need is to install a piece of equipment in each suite. Reducing the feeling of isolation and driving a real sense of “community” can systematically be supported with your organization’s own custom in-suite TV channel.
There is one multi-layered question that continues to grow in importance among senior living operators: how do I stretch my activities budget, communicate quickly, entertain, and inform residents effectively at multiple communities and with less effort? The answer is live streaming video across your communities. Whether it’s a musical act, religious service, or any other activity (think virtual bingo, cooking classes, bar trivia, birthday celebrations,etc.), all residents can participate. Promote the liveliness of your community by broadcasting live events on community screens. Even if bed-ridden, a resident can see the live community event from the comfort of their suite. You can hire one exercise instructor and live broadcast across multiple communities at once. Since a modern video streaming solution should automatically record and save a video to your corporate database, you should be able to easily schedule and rebroadcast the event at a later date, especially if residents missed it the first time (think big savings and ROI). As a Regional Manager, you can broadcast a weekly live state of the union address to multiple communities at once or you can delegate it to site-level staff. The possibilities for information sharing have never been richer and easier for operators. With a Live Video Streaming solution, your corporation makes sure everyone gets a front-row seat to the show.
Differentiating your communities from “the other ones down the street” can be done in as little as an investment in a solution that speaks to any Amazon Alexa-Enabled Device. Wow prospects on your tour by telling them to “just ask Alexa” for community info. Activities, events, and menus are just a question away from any Amazon Alexa-Enabled Device in your community. Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus are available for all – no more guessing. An up-to-date listing of daily activities encourages resident engagement and promotes inclusiveness and involvement of residents with mobility or visual impairment. Alexa devices can even control in-suite thermostats and turn on a TV and tune it to your community’s in-suite TV channel. Welcome to the future of senior living!
Need to send a message across a community for residents and/or staff members? What about if you need to communicate it to families? Someone has to call, another person has to send emails, another has to get on the PA System, and yet another needs to make print-outs and update bulletin boards. Multiply that effort by the number of floors/wings the community has and the number of systems you need to use to execute. What about if you need to get a message out to multiple communities? That is a lot of resourcing in what can become a mess to strategically coordinate. Enter all-in-one Community Message Broadcasting (CMB) systems! With one place to send instant alerts or pre-scheduled updates to residents, families, and staff, you’ll never save more time and know that people have received “the message”. Quickly send emergency alerts for infectious outbreaks or weather warnings or even fire drill reminders. With a CMB, keep everyone in the loop via email, SMS, text to voice, app, and TV screens across communities.
Finding friends, discovering similarities, and learning about each other is nice when it’s organic. In a senior living residence, fostering a “community vibe” is easier with the inclusion of a digital community directory. Look for a solution that allows for the simple upload of resident and/or staff directories. Residents who’ve opted in can find out who else shares similar interests. They can also easily identify staff members by their picture – a definite help with memory care patients. In addition, staff can quickly refresh themselves on the interests of their residents which helps foster stronger bonds and improve resident care.
Identify the most popular activities – allowing activity directors to make the most efficient use of their time
ROI reporting, which allows the organization to evaluate attendance/success of activities/events across communities and make strategic allocation or additional budgetary investments
Look for a solution that allows your staff to easily export reports graphically across properties, so they can be shared with adult children and other family members.
13. Meal Tracker
Consistent eating is a cornerstone of senior health. Effective real-time tracking of resident eating habits supports wellness, and in many jurisdictions tracking meals is the law. Look to invest in a web-based meal tracker that can work with your existing menu management solution. How often a resident eats, the meal-type, time of day, and location should be among the reportable data points. Quickly pull reports in real-time, or expect automated reports to save hours of manual tracking time. Ready reports mean there’s no longer a need to chase staff for information. Imagine viewing adherence of all your communities at a glance, and then being able to drill down to a single resident when needed.
14. Newsletter & Flyers
Maintaining a high-level of professionalism and brand consistency is supported with an enterprise newsletter and flyer solution. You should be able to choose from several layout options to build your custom corporate newsletters in either landscape or portrait. Newsletter layouts should be divided into zones to make customization a breeze! Customized corporate templates should then be saved and implemented across multiple properties. Look for a newsletter builder that seamlessly integrates with your existing community platform to feed custom content into the final export. Make sure messaging and sections are uniform, while allowing your individual communities the ability to add their own custom information that speaks specifically to their audience.
15. Community Surveys
Simply put, surveys show residents your commitment to care and service quality! While you certainly care about site-level ratings, being able to disperse and analyze survey responses across all, or a given number of properties will provide you with corporate insight into brand perception and performance. Understand client satisfaction as an organization, increase resident retention, and minimize attrition. An adaptive community survey should be simple enough for any resident to use, should not require an app download, and should be able to be accessed from any web-enabled device.
Education and procedural compliance is critical to success at each senior living community, but how does one ensure all communities are on the same page? An online Learning Management System (LMS) and Policy and Procedure Database (PPD) will give you corporate visibility across all properties. A good LMS will allow you to easily register, educate, and train staff using the platform’s content library while still allowing you to put your pre-existing content (PDF, PPT, Videos, etc.) to good use. A central location for standardized testing on compliance (courses, documents, policies, and procedures) should promote effective staff training and adherence to all rules and regulations. With a great solution, expect to monitor compliance with non-educational items (eg. flu shots) and automate emails and audit reports that provide greater detail based on your role visibility. Remember that educated staff members are more productive. When you provide scalable standardized mandatory training across all locations nation-wide, and add localized state or provincial education, you’re keeping corporate compliance at its highest levels.
17. HIPAA Compliant Video Calling
As is expected today, many communities use different video calling platforms to connect residents, families, staff, and healthcare professionals. Deciding on a HIPAA platform that’s designed to be incredibly easy to learn and use for almost anyone – especially for people who aren’t particularly tech-savvy, have low vision, or mobility challenges – will allow for greater adoption. It should work with virtually any device, minimizing the barrier to entry for family members to connect. Healthcare professionals love video calling because it enables remote check-ins which allow practitioners to see and interact with residents more frequently and at less cost. A well-managed video calling solution should create a Circle of Care that could include virtually anyone – from neighbors and loved ones to professional care providers. Support for in-context 3-way video conferencing, sending messages via text message (including video/pictures) and easy scheduling of video calls from a resident’s living room are a must-have. Enjoying easy video visits and sharing the news with everyone at the tap of a button helps support a well-connected community environment.
There is no short supply of technology solutions for senior living operators. It’s difficult to navigate all the options out there and hopefully, this article has helped identify a few relevant solutions for your communities. If we can help with a free analysis of your existing enterprise solutions and make some recommendations, please contact us below and we’d be happy to.
A sink gets clogged. A window is broken. The LTC TV remote is not behaving. Life happens. That’s why you have a maintenance team on site. Or maybe you don’t. But naturally, someone needs to be notified and the issue needs to be resolved. So how do your residents let you know that there is a problem? Maybe they call or if they’re tech-savvy seniors, email, or physically walk up to a staff member to let them know. The issue is noted, or maybe forgotten. If it is noted, it may not be completed diligently, or followed up on, and no one is held accountable. Even if you have the greatest maintenance team in the world, service requests should be recorded and noted for records and reference in the future.
The solution? An easy-to-use, simple yet effective service request system that will organize your senior living community’s requests and create an element of accountability. After all, your residents are at the heart of your community, and you want to keep them happy and taken care of.
TIP: Make sure the system you choose allows residents, families and all your staff members to create requests that you can then track locally, regionally or on a corporate-wide basis.
It’s a difficult task to relay important information to every resident in your assisted living community, especially on a moment’s notice. Let’s say there is an outbreak in your community. How do you get the word out to your residents? Mass emails? Word of mouth? Most conventional methods tend to be ineffective or time-consuming. One of the best assisted living technologies to get the word out is to have a digital messaging system that displays the information immediately across LTC TVs dispersed in your community or in the residents’ suites. Quick and easy!
TIP: Ensure the platform you use will allow you to have multiple different displays throughout your building so you can display information appropriate to each location.
In order to comply with government standards, assisted living communities must have their staff trained on a variety of educational courses. Besides these courses, you also want to ensure that all of your staff members are knowledgeable about community policies and procedures and retirement activities and have a place where they can easily access these documents. Some assisted living communities still use paper and pen for these courses, but an investment in a digital learning portal is extremely valuable. It will keep you organized and ensure that all staff members are up-to-date on training. You can also easily review or print reports whenever you’d like, or have them automatically sent to you.
TIP: Confirm that you can enrol staff by department, that you can set a training calendar for the whole year in advance and that you can manage reports from a department, administration or head office level.
Bulletin boards are great. They are colourful ports of information that can be referenced daily. However, in assisted living communities, they fall short of their goal to provide knowledge with their numerous drawbacks. Updating them is a hassle, especially for busy staff members. They can be hard to read and difficult to visit on a daily basis for senior residents with mobility issues. All in all, they tend to be unreliable and difficult to maintain, which defeats their very purpose. With digital bulletin board technology, changes to menus and retirement activities take seconds and are immediately displayed on LTC TVs all around the community and even in the residents’ suites, so that residents can stay informed at all times.
TIP: Find out whether your solution is just a glorified PowerPoint or if you can use the information in different, useful ways – like printing menus and calendars as well as showing them on the TVs. Don’t get stuck with repetitive, unnecessary work re-entering all your activity calendars and menus in Word, Publisher or any other software.
On the topic of senior living menus and activity calendars, whether you use a traditional bulletin board or a digital bulletin board, it is helpful to have a printable monthly version that you can hand out, post on your website or send to family members of residents. You can spend hours or days working on perfecting this document in Word or another program, or you can save time and avoid the stress by working with an activity calendar system that automatically creates a monthly spread of your retirement activities that is fully customizable. You’ll wonder why you ever did it any other way.
TIP: Make sure you can print daily, weekly and monthly calendars and menus from one interface and not have to enter different data each time.
Sometimes it’s hard enough getting the word out to your assisted living community residents. Keeping their families involved in community activities is a whole other ball game. You could of course send out mass emails with information, or upload a calendar to your website. But these types of activities take up a significant amount of time, and are difficult to update at a moment’s notice. What if you had a resident and family member portal that could be easily accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and no additional work would be necessary to update it? What if it could also send mass emails to your family members? Welcome to the future of assisted living technology.
TIP: Give family members the ability to sign themselves up for the service. Don’t rely on your staff members to do it for them.
Ever wish your community could earn a little extra money? Rhetorical question, obviously. Of course you do! Advertising trusted, local goods and services in your community can not only assist your residents in making sound choices, but can work to ring in a little extra cash. Digital advertising is a wonderful avenue for this and takes seconds to implement.
TIP: Seniors don’t like advertising in their ‘home’. Any sponsored messaging must be informational in nature and not ‘sell, sell, sell’ driven.
8: Photos and Videos
Celebrating achievements and jogging memories through pictures and videos is a delightful way of keeping your residents active and involved in your community. But printing photos is virtually a thing of the past, not to mention time-consuming and wasteful. With today’s technology, the easiest way to display photos is to display them digitally, where they can be seen on the big screen in all their glory.
TIP: Use timing features when uploading your photos to begin with so the media is always up to date and never looks old and out-of-date.
Music can bring a sense of joy and relaxation to a community. It can also promote dancing! (Check out our video of residents dancing away at one of our partner communities. You might learn a move or two!) Play music from a radio station of your choice all day or only play it during certain times. It’s all up to you!
TIP: Try to find a Golden Oldies station or something to play that brings back memories of your residents’ youth.
Music is a safe kind of high.
- Jimi Hendrix
So how many of these nine digital technologies do you see being of benefit to your community? If you want them all – I’ve got some bad news, and some good news. The bad news is, if you tried to find and purchase all of these digital solutions separately – it would not only be time-consuming, but it would be expensive. E-Learning Portals, maintenance management solutions, digital signage, website maintenance, software tools to create calendars – these are all wonderful additions to any assisted living community. However, they’re not integrated and each digital solution is a separate cost, both monetary and time-wise. Staff members need to be trained, and they need to put in a lot of work and effort to maintain each system.
Now for the good news. What if I told you that there is a solution out there that does all of these things for one low cost, training and support included? InTouchLink is a one-stop solution that has been built on years of client feedback and observations of the retirement industry. We know our clients and their needs, and we’ve created an all-encompassing product as the solution. No need to search any longer– visit our website to book a free demo today. You won’t regret it.
Modern-day senior living communities emerged in North America as part of a paradigm shift during the early 1980s that called for a more consumer-centered care philosophy. Fortunately, this remains the prevailing philosophy present in the senior living industry today and one can assume that the primary goal of a senior living community is to help its residents live a well-rounded and happy life as they age. But a senior living community is also a business, and in order to keep your residents happy, you need to reach your maximum occupancy level. This will ultimately contribute to your bottom line, and allow you to continue improving your customer care and service levels, thereby promoting a healthy cycle of growth.
Growing your occupancy level can be a complex matter, affected by many variables, some external and out of your control, such as geography, government policies, economic states, demographics, and competing companies. Luckily, there are also many variables that are in your control, and those will be the ones discussed in this article. Boosting your occupancy rates can be whittled down to a few key elements: marketing, engagement, and at the core, the satisfaction levels of all stakeholders involved, including staff, family members and last but certainly not least, your residents. All of these elements can be positively influenced by technological innovations designed to do just that. Improve marketing, promote engagement, and increase resident, family member, and employee satisfaction. Growth in these three areas can directly increase your occupancy rates and contribute to your bottom line. Now let’s dive in and boost those occupancy rates!
Take Full Advantage of Your Online Platform
In today’s day and age, if you don’t have a strong online presence as a business, you’re missing out on a ton of growth potential. Building a beautiful online website is now so incredibly simple, there aren’t any excuses left to not have a user-friendly and visually stunning website for your senior living community. Take advantage of sites such as Wix or SquareSpacefor easy and beautiful website creation.
Already have a website? Perfect. Ensure that your community also has a strong presence on a range of social media channels. When prospective clients search for you online, they’ll be able to view your website as well as your Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and more. They’ll see and know more about how wonderful your community is, and you’ll have an edge over your competition, and bring in more prospects for tours.
Encourage your current clients to tune in to your social media pages, and soon you’ll have a buzz surrounding your community. Their reviews, likes and comments will be seen by others, spreading a positive message and thereby positive associations with the name of your community. Keeping family members updated on all of the fun events going on at your community will also confirm to them that they made the right choice in choosing your senior living community over others. Involving the rest of the town, young and old, in your special events, and introducing contests and raffles, will also encourage others to visit, and maintain a positive brand and message.
Have Family Members Involved As Much as Possible
On the topic of family member and community involvement, in addition to your online social media presence, giving your families a private portal to access community information is invaluable. Have an online portal where family members, residents and even prospects (perhaps temporarily) can access recent photos, upcoming special events, menu, activities, download your monthly newsletter, and more. It’s best when this portal allows for communication directly with your community, and is accessible from anywhere on any device with an internet connection.
An integrated service request system can be incredibly useful if, for example, a family member wants to come in for a dinner with their grandmother. They can log in to your custom online portal, take a look at the menu, and request a table in minutes and that request goes to the email address of whomever you choose at your community. Neat, right? Family members love these kinds of features, and so do residents and prospects.
Keeping the community up-to-date is essential. You can plan the most beautiful event, but if no one knows about it, it won’t matter. Keep your community informed and happy, and they’ll not only continue to happily live there, they’ll also spread the word about how wonderful you are – the best kind of (free!) marketing available.
Keep Your Residents Engaged and Happy through Wellness Initiatives and Digital Communication
Have you ever heard the saying, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold”? This is not just a quote – it’s actually a proven fact. It costs seven times more to obtain a new customer than to keep an existing one. Moral of the story: Keep your residents happy! They are your bread and butter.
Many variables exist in the complex concept of resident satisfaction, but there are also factors proven to improve it. An informed resident is a happy resident. If you have posters up for your activities – or a monthly/daily activity calendar – and an activity is cancelled, how soon are your residents informed? Do they have to make the trek to the location of the event only to make another trek to your reception desk to ask for a status update? This is a common issue that plagues communities relying on analog paper-and-pen communication systems.
Introducing a digital signage platform in your community will ensure that residents are kept up-to-date in seconds, not hours. Information is beautifully displayed on large-screen high-definition TV screens in common areas, changes can be made in real-time, and your custom community “channel” can even be accessed from the comfort of a resident’s suite, where they can turn on their TV, turn to a designated channel, and immediately gain access to community information. There’s no running around, time-wasting, printing, or stress involved! Senior living utopia.
For residents that are more tech-savvy (a growing trend in the industry – click here to read the full NY Times article), you can even offer something of more value, such as iPads or inexpensive tablets that you can make available for your residents to borrow. They’ll be able to access community information at any time, right from the tablet, and even input service requests through a resident portal, saving their time and your staff’s time. A resident portal can also include other fun features such as brain games, videos, music, an easy-to-use email system, personal calendar and more.
Other types of tools, such as an electronic health record platform, will also improve resident satisfaction rates by allowing staff to easily document and monitor resident conditions, and adjust their care plan accordingly, before any conditions worsen. Being proactive is always better than being reactive.
Impress Your Prospects with a Hotel-Style Feel
Nine times out of ten, you won’t be the only retirement community that a prospect is visiting. But if they did choose you as an option to visit in-person, seize the moment to really wow them on a tour of your community. It’s important to incentivize prospects with the standard favours – a free brunch or dinner, a small “thank you for dropping by” gift, and a booklet of your services. But it’s even more important to go a few steps further ahead of the competition.
Place large-screen high-definition digital signage screens in your common high-traffic areas that display vital information and engage prospects. For example, these screens can display items like your daily activities, community menus, photos from your latest outing, a fun fact of the day and more. Prospects will see all of the fun things that happen at the community (as well as your delicious menu!) which will entice them to stay.
Have jazzy “elevator music” or golden oldies playing from the in-suite TVs and common area TVs on your community tour. It’s a small enhancement that can make a profound impact on a prospect’s mood and consequently their impression of the living space, even if it’s only subconscious.
If you want to etch a lasting impression on your prospects, have an interactive touchscreen set up in the lobby of your community that allows for:
Access to important information – i.e. menus, activities, event schedule
Contact Us section
Service Request System
Ensure that your prospects have an easy way to keep in touch and view what’s happening at the community, even after they’ve left. A temporary prospect account to access your community portal is a great way to keep prospects engaged, without extra work on your part.
Many communities are hesitant to implement large changes to their daily routines – and we completely understand. Almost all new systems come with a learning curve – no matter how small, and this can take time to adjust to, not just for staff, but for residents who are accustomed to a particular way of doing things. But don’t ever let that deter you from introducing new innovative products and services into your community. The end result of a full and engaged community will always be worth the small hurdles at the beginning, which will soon enough be forgotten with the joys of a happier community.
At InTouchLink, we specialize in an all-in-one digital platform that has been designed and tweaked over the years to best service the senior living industry. We want our senior living partner communities to be as happy, engaged and full as possible. We’re not just programmers, or support representatives; we’re consultants with years of experience on best practices. If you work with us, your community will even have its own designated account manager to hold your hand along the way – at no cost. Book a Demo with us today and see live in action how we can improve your operations, engage you residents, and boost your occupancy.
Are you looking for a way to increase efficiencies in your assisted living facility?
Do you want a fresh, modern and efficient way to display all your activities, special events, photos and other relevant information to your residents?
Join Ceren, one of our leading Training and Support Coordinators as she gives a quick demonstration of some of the ways you can use InTouchLink to quickly design and print calendars in seconds! You can print a monthly Activity Calendar to give out to all your residents, and you can also print a daily activity calendar to post around your building.
Of course, you can also use your own custom TV channel for your community to display menus, activities, photos, birthdays, anniversaries, thoughts of the day, weather, news etc.