A recent column in McKnight's Senior Living offers advice on how to implement technology so that senior living residents and families feel valued, socially engaged, and empowered. "The future of senior living technology: Choice, control and connection" also says that doing so can give your organization a competitive edge.
 
Author Delaine Blazek, a senior living thought leader and Oneview Healthcare executive, recommends choosing a platform that seamlessly connects disparate systems into a single view and is specific to the needs and interests of residents, families, and staff.
 
Blazek also suggests paying attention to the three Cs—choice, control, and connection. This approach will help whether you are integrating existing technologies, adding new solutions, or starting from scratch.

Choice

When older adults believe that their opinions and wellbeing matter to a community's staff and management, they will favor that community. A technology solution that offers older adults choice might include a way for older adults to plan activities digitally, order room service, adjust room controls, create or join social communities, and the like.
 
Choice empowers older adults and can reduce boredom and depression. Engagement can help lower use of psychotropic drugs by applying a holistic mentality around senior living and care options, Blazek writes.

Control

Members of staff and senior management need a unified platform to control data. Being able to filter, sort and report, and eliminate duplicates saves time. Viewing data holistically enables management to see and base important decisions on statistical facts and patterns. Unified platforms also can ensure that the right information gets to the right person at the right time, giving them control to take necessary and immediate action.

Connection

Technology that connects all community members through social engagement can reduce isolation and encourage relationship-centered care that can lead staff and residents to stay longer. The right solution also can connect families and staff. Read the full column.

If you would like additional information on Social Connectedness and Engagement technology, please check out CAST’s Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology Selection Tool.