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BETA TESTING THE “TECHNOLOGY CONCIERGE” ROLE


Like other providers, Watermark Retirement Communities is staying flexible and keeping unique community needs top-of-mind when it comes to technology assistance roles. One of these unique solutions is a “technology concierge” role. The success of the pilot program at The Fountains of La Cholla community in Tucson means the provider plans to launch in five communities in the next few months and more in the second half of 2020, says Tammy Farris, director of strategic innovation.


“We were holding classes for technology education and noticed a lot of interest in a wide variety of technology topics, but most revealing was the need for assistance in specific areas—ones that were different for each individual,” Farris wrote in an email interview. “In between classes, Watermark associates were being asked for help with these device and software needs so often that we decided to test a dedicated position.”


A resident survey helped frame the new role. Most important, says Farris, was selecting the right person—someone with a wide range of knowledge, a true passion for technology and “demonstrated compassion and desire to help others.”


What does the technology concierge do? It’s intended as another resident option for third-party tech support, such as Geek Squad, Farris says.


Services include help with apps, emails, and sharing photos, as well as system connections between devices including television, audio, and desktops and tablets. It’s especially appreciated by residents just moving in, Farris says.


“Residents are charged in 15-minute intervals and there are no service contracts. The technology concierge has an onsite office as well as a central Tech Concierge desk near the front of the building. Residents can schedule appointments or just drop by to get the help that they need,” Farris says.


“In addition to this type of support, our tech concierge also delivers technology classes and regular programming such as Engage VR—a virtual reality experience for individuals and groups.”


The technology concierge also helps others on staff and is a key contributor to the community, participating in efforts to improve resident experiences.


“Residents know him by first name, have his cell phone, and feel fully supported for both the simple and more complicated technology challenges they encounter,” Farris says.


“In addition, this more efficient solution has created more space for our Watermark teams to enjoy focused engagement with residents in their areas of expertise, leaving the technology piece up to the expert—and avoiding some mishaps that may inadvertently occur while trying to help.”


WEBINARS OFFER MORE ON TECH


Participate in expert discussions of new technology and how it could affect your community and improve quality, through Senior Living Insights webinars by Argentum (argentum.org/webinars).


• Access Voice-Tech and Wellness: Part of the Tech Enablement Series, sponsored by MatrixCare, this recorded webinar looks at the rapid growth of voice-enabled technologies, a new report on the topic, and first-hand experiences from the perspective of an owner/operator who has deployed voice technology in their communities.


• Attend The Case for Telehealth, Thursday, March 5, 1 p.m. Eastern: Part of the Quality Improvement Series, sponsored by Medline, this webinar features an overview of telehealth services, discussion of how residents are adapting to this new system, and a look at resources needed to implement a Medicare Advantage reimbursement model. Earn 1 NAB/ NCERS CEU for attendance, pending approval.


Senior Living Insights webinars, past and future, are free for Argentum members; $95 per download or participation for non-members.


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020 ARGENTUM.ORG 13


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