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.

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