Technology for Seniors
Although there remains a great divide between the older generation and younger Americans adopting technology, that divide is becoming narrower as baby boomers reach retirement age. In fact, with a boom in our aging population on the horizon, this next senior generation owns and uses technologies at the same rate as those under 65. The senior housing industry is preparing for the innovations and upgrades that this tech-savvy group of seniors will expect in their new homes.
The baby boomer generation has been accustomed to carrying a smartphone, reading a book on their Kindle, asking Alexa to turn on the lights, and following their grandkids on Facebook. They may not be early adopters, but this generation understands that technology can make their lives easier, which they embrace. Aegis Living has taken steps to integrate technology into our communities and will continue to evaluate technology that will better aid our residents, families, and staff into the future.
Aegis Living wellness tool – Family Link
No other senior housing company uses technology like Aegis Living to provide our families with a window into their loved one’s daily activities. We provide families with access to an online wellness tool that tracks their loved one’s participation levels in activity programs and trends in their behavior. For families, our wellness reporting tool answers the important question of how residents spend their days. This information can be easily shared among family members. Our wellness tool gives our families peace of mind knowing how their parent is adapting to their home.
Even greater than insight for our families, we know that socialization is vital to the health of aging loved ones, both physically and mentally. Our wellness tool gives us an awareness of our residents’ overall levels of happiness and wellbeing, at our fingertips. A resident may find an activity that really piques their interest and gives them more vitality. We can build on this interest with more programming. Or we may notice a decline in participation, which could be a sign of something bigger going on with their health that we can follow up on. Beyond understanding the activities that they like to do; we can track their overall wellbeing through participation levels. Not only do we want to create engaging programs that our residents love to participate in, but through collected data, we can better track their quality of life. We can easily see how engaged they are in the community, and if their behavioral changes should be flagged.
How does technology play a role at Aegis Living?
Over the past decade, the senior housing industry has changed dramatically from the stale definition of an “old folk’s home” to vibrant communities. Aegis Living has been a leader offering innovative activity programs that engage our senior residents in often unexpected ways.
One of those ways is Aegis Living uses voice-activated technology, Amazon’s Alexa, in all our assisted living and memory care communities. Our Life Enrichment team uses this resource throughout the day to pull from a myriad of current events, games, topics of interest, and music. Our staff never wants an opportunity to pass by to actively interact with a resident. Alexa is a great tool to start a conversation, answer a question, or spark a memory in real-time.
When we have gaps in our programming, we can lose momentum and opportunity. Alexa allows our Life Enrichment team to engage with our residents in the moment to recall a forgotten name, date, fact, or even play a favorite song without missing a beat.
Innovative Technology Tools
In addition to Alexa, we use technology to play trivia or brain fitness games to help with mental agility and improve cognition. Or we can use an online program to lead them through meditation or deep breathing exercises. Residents can stay connected to current events and news with community-wide internet access. Aegis Living’s use of Virtually Reality, in some communities, provides experiences for residents like visiting the Louvre museum, hiking mountains and fishing.
Technology has transformed how many seniors communicate, using Skype or a mobile phone to chat with and stay connected to loved ones with ease. And our common computer rooms are available for our residents to utilize, check emails, or touch base with their family.
Technology’s Role in Resident Safety
Currently, we use check-in kiosks at the front reception desks to track visitors within the community. Motion sensors in the senior apartments help track movement if a resident is up during the night and medical alerts are worn to keep them safe. Our medication managers track residents’ health and medication information electronically for accuracy and to avoid drug interactions. Our around-the-clock care staff is supported by technology to better monitor keep residents safe and healthy. And as “smart home” technology evolves, we know there will be even more options within each senior apartment in the future.
Our lives are being transformed by technology that not only benefits young families, but these advancements include options for grandma and grandpa too. Technology continues to evolve and change. As an industry, senior housing needs to include these changes and innovations where necessary, especially when serving a more tech-savvy audience in the future. At Aegis Living, we are committed to integrating new technology for our residents that enhances their quality of life. Come see Aegis Living for yourself. Schedule a tour at a community near you.
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