long term care facility Tag

12 Jun 9 Assisted Living Technologies You Need In Your Senior Living Community

9 ASSISTED LIVING TECHNOLOGIES YOU NEED IN YOUR SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY

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Ceren @ ITL

1: Service Request and Ticketing System

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.

2: Messaging

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.

3: Learning Management System

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.

4: Digital Bulletin Board

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.

5: Printable Activity Calendars and Menus

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.

 

6: Resident and Family Portal

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.

7: Advertising

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.

9: Music

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.

We also offer free technology assessments for your senior living communityBook a senior living technology assessment today and one of our senior living specialists will contact you within 2 hours to set up a customized session with you.

 

31 May TOP 10 WAYS TO USE DIGITAL SIGNAGE IN ASSISTED LIVING

Digital signage is more than just another TV in your senior living community. It can engage your residents, motivate them to participate in activities, inform them of important events and make them laugh! Wondering how? Here are our top 10 ways of most effectively using digital signage to improve YOUR assisted living facility.

  1. Post Photos and Videos of Events at your Community

Have you recently held a fun activity at your retirement community? We’re sure you have! If you took any photos or videos, be sure to post them on your community TV and residence portal. It only takes a few minutes, but residents will greatly enjoy seeing themselves and their companions on a TV screen. We receive wonderful feedback on this feature quite often – take advantage!

  1. Need to Relay Important Info Quickly? Draft a Message in Seconds!

Maybe your retirement home or long term care facility just had an outbreak on floor 2. Or mail has been delivered and is ready for pickup. Or maybe someone came in with a large box of cookies. Whatever the case may be, you want to let everyone know as soon as possible. (Well, maybe not for the box of cookies). All you have to do is add a message to your TV channel in a few seconds – and it’ll be up automatically! Did we mention you can access the InTouchLink system from ANY device as long as you have an internet connection? You can’t go wrong!

  1. Customize Your Channel with your Logo and Brand Colours

The beauty of your InTouchLink TV is that it’s your TV, your channel. Change the clock to your brand colour, post your logo at the top, change the font, and change the layout. The possibilities are endless, and better yet – they’re easy. You can also use your TV as an assisted living marketing tool for your community – welcoming all prospects and showing them everything that is amazing about your community.

  1. Post Special Events Coming Up that your Residents can look forward to

One of the beauties of life is being able to look forward to something. If you have a special event coming up (Father’s Day BBQ, anyone?), make sure to let your residents know by posting it on your InTouchLink TV channel. You can even customize it with your own background image and any information that you would like to add!

  1. Post some Humour and other fun things!

How boring life would be without having the occasional laugh! Try posting a humorous quote or even a funny video to your assisted living TV channel! We suggest searching for Just for Laughs Gags videos or America’s Funniest Home Videos on YouTube. A wonderful feature of the InTouchLink system is that it’s super easy to post a video. Just search for something you like on YouTube, then link it back to your channel (it only takes 30 seconds!).

You can also post monthly or weekly fun facts. For example, the origins of the name of the Month (did you know the name May might have originated from the Greek Maia, meaning goddess of spring?). Other ideas include the birthstone of the month, or famous celebrity birthdays or events that occurred in history in that week or month.

  1. Celebrate, Celebrate, Celebrate!

Never miss a chance to celebrate! Celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or any other special occasions by posting a short description and photo. Why not spread the joy ?!

  1. Weather Forecast

Ensure that your residents are always prepared for the weather (even if you live in Canada where there is no preparing for the weather, ever). Just like everything else we do – we make this easy peezy lemon squeezy. You can configure an automatic weather forecast to appear on the TV and choose from a variety of options such as a several day forecast or just a daily forecast. You only need to do it once and then you’re set! In fact, we add it in to your base channel when you first start up! (But you can always change the format).

  1. Local Events

There’s always something going on in the local community. Why not encourage everyone to get involved? Community-wide events build a sense of home and happiness. And festivals and fairs are fun for the whole family – more opportunities for grandparents to spend time with their grandkids! You can post a photo and a description on your channel in minutes and allow everyone to join in on the fun.

  1. Shift Schedule

Keep your residents informed by posting a shift schedule of nurses or other staff on duty for the day. They will appreciate knowing who is in their home and when, especially in cases where they may have a question or comment for a particular person.

  1. RSS Feeds

Just another great way to ensure that all your residents stay in the know! You can link a multitude of RSS feeds to your channel that will produce highlights from the latest sports or local and international news. Similar to the weather forecast, you need only do this once and your channel will do the rest! Isn’t technology great?

Digital Signage is not the end of what you can do for your residents; it’s just the beginning! Have your residents and your families login to a dedicated resident portal to keep up to date with everything going on even when they’re not in the building!

Freshly joined or seasoned veteran – we are always here for our clients. Need some extra training? Can’t figure something out? Want to learn about new features? Give us a call or send us an email. We’re happy to help – no ifs, ands or fees about it.

Don’t have digital signage yet? The technology of the future is waiting for you. Stay one step (or ten) ahead of the competition with the right tools to increase engagement and efficiency in your community. We’re happy to offer a free demo to show you more about how the system works. Head to https://www1.intouchlink.com/book-a-demo/ to book a free no-obligation demo today!