Choosing technology to help older adults connect and engage with others? LeadingAge CAST has released a new Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology Selection Tool to help you plan for, select, and implement the best solution for your organization.
 
This tool is the latest in the series of LeadingAge CAST Technology Selection Tools. Each portfolio includes a white paper, interactive guide, selection matrix, online selection tool, and provider case studies.

  • The white paper “Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology for Long-Term and Post-Acute Care: A Primer and Provider Selection Guide 2017” helps LeadingAge members and other aging services organizations to understand the uses and benefits of these technologies. 
  • An interactive guide gives busy executives a quick overview of social connectedness and engagement technology and the white paper, as well as the planning and selection process.
  • The product selection matrix includes details on each product to help providers compare and choose from 40 different products that best fit their business line and functional requirements. The product selection matrix is published in Excel format to allow providers to sort and delete products, and to perform side-by-side functionality comparisons of only products of interest to them.
  • The online selection tool guides users through a series of questions to help users choose the solution that best meets their organization’s requirements.
  •  Eleven provider case studies offer details on actual product implementations at LeadingAge member firms and share best practices and lessons learned. 

Why Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology?

Social isolation is consistently associated with reduced well-being, health, and quality of life, and depression. It can increase the risk of death by as much as 45%. Unfortunately, social isolation is common, with rates as high as 43% in community-dwelling older adults.
 
Technology can help an older adult maintain and enhance relationships with peers, family, friends, and caregivers.

  • Social connectedness technologies include social networks, video chats, audio chats, photo sharing, activity/event sharing, email, text chat, and picture chats.
  • Social engagement technologies encompass life stories, community activity and event management, physical and mental exercises, games, music, facilitated conversations, companion apps or robots, and virtual reality (VR). 

Benefits include the following:

  • Increasing an older adult’s social network and reducing loneliness and social isolation.
  • Increasing resident/client engagement and satisfaction.
  • Improving health and quality of life and reducing depression.
  • Reducing health care costs. 

Potential LTPAC Provider Business Models

The Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology white paper discusses several programs that may provide subsidies to help low-income consumers and providers afford the technology, as well as payment sources.
 
An online return on investment (ROI) calculator and other information will help you figure the ROI for residents, clients, families, payers, and care providers. The white paper also offers guidance on visioning and strategic planning, which are essential in choosing a solution that works well for you.
 
Other LeadingAge CAST Technology Selection Tools help you find solutions in these areas: