Top healthcare providers have found that they provide residents with professional platforms as amenity is a driver to increase living space, and platforms improve employee mobility.
Citizens, meanwhile, now want a variety of content and experiences from providers to keep them engaged, and they want video platforms to stay connected to their staff and neighbors within the community, and loved ones outside the walls of the building.
This is one of the findings of a new summer data report released Tuesday on high-tech technology company K4Connect. The report contains user information from more than 40 senior communities across the country from January 2021 to April 2021, highlighting the styles of employees, residents and family members of the company’s platform, K4Community.
In addition, the report comprises research data from more than 360 residents and 50 employees currently using K4Community in assisted, private living and memory care facilities.
Overall, the findings came as no surprise to K4Connect co-founder and CEO Scott Moody. All the styles highlighted in this report were natural, pre-epidemic. However, there has been a gap in the life of technology adoption between technology developers and newly acquired platforms, and widespread acceptance by most consumers – this is known as “crossing the gorge.”
Covid-19 came up with the idea for the gorge, Moody told Senior Housing News.
It has accelerated the whole process of [adoption], ”he said.
Driving technology is always profitable
Another revelation from the report is the importance of having technical platforms as a resource for future residents, and how these platforms can drive housing prices: 83% of staff members who participated in the report indicated that providing technology as resources improves accommodation.
Having the technology used became very important during the epidemic. While communities across the country are embarking on citizens’ lock-in protocols to maintain security, technology has helped solve the challenges of communication between residents, employees within their buildings and loved ones outside the community.The highest number of residents proved to be tech savvy, and: 92% of the population in this report owns a smartphone; 58% have a device with a voice assistant; and 40% solid fans.
Throughout the epidemic, residents welcomed and actively participated in visual events, which helped reduce loneliness and isolation when their movements were limited to communities. K4Connect reported a 98% increase in the number of events received by citizens through the K4Community program from January 2021 to March 2021. Even resident enrollment increased by 84% at the time, with 81% participating in Zoom or other visible meetings.
In addition, 89% of citizens indicated that they had a variety of content and experience they had that was important to them, 83% said it was important to get a residency guide, and 70% believed they had access to an app or website to make video calls important to them.
This foreshadows a change in the ocean, in comparison with the pre-epidemic era when citizens were more focused on social activities, or physical resources such as swimming pools, gymnasiums or common areas. As the industry enters a post-epidemic situation, communication will become more important.
“[Adults don’t want] to move into a community where, in the event of something like this again, they get stuck in their room and have no ability to communicate,” Moody said.
Senior living staff also saw the benefits of having the technology available during the Covid-19 era.
Staff shortages and retention challenges were exacerbated last year by a positive Covid-19 test between workers and their families. In addition, long-term care workers were important workers, holding their jobs when they had to and facing personal hardships brought on by school closures and fears that they might carry the virus to their homes, after the change.
As the epidemic continues, older live employees who participated in the K4Connect report appreciated using simple technology and making their daily work easier, from content creation and distribution to improved communication with citizens.
The report showed a 73% increase in the number of public notices, announcements and menu changes; 62% of the communities in the study use content automation, resulting in a 30% time saving for staff; 42% and all public announcements, announcements and menus are governed by the K4Community audience / feature feature with a large staff.
The time savings created by these measures allowed staff to stay longer and care for residents. Meanwhile, the integration of technology and communication with people has led to better engagement, Moody told SHN.
And it seems that the hybrid model of personal and material experience will be the norm, in the post-epidemic environment.
“[Nobody says], ‘We don’t need these things anymore,'” he said. “It fulfills an important part of their lives.”