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TECH TAKES ON NEW ROLES


TECHNOLOGY HELPS TO ENGAGE EMPLOYEES, TOO


Carrie Shaw, founder and CEO of Embodied Labs, says virtual reality (VR) training programs encouraged engagement and allowed employees to better prepare for their caregiver roles and to deepen their relationship with residents.


“Staff can interact in a 360-environment, in which training caregivers can embody the viewpoints and conditions of others through virtual reality experiences, obtaining a knowledge that standard training tools cannot provide,” Shaw says.


By virtually stepping into residents’ shoes, employees can connect, empathize, and interact with patients by exploring the reality of different conditions, ranging from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s disease.


As buildings begin to open back up, some providers have turned to technology to help create a safer environment for employees. Enseo, for instance, created Vera, a live virtual front desk concierge.


“Some businesses are struggling to bring back staff, so we built solutions to help alleviate the issues,” says Brad Bush, chief commercial officer at Enseo. “We created Vera during the pandemic to help create a touch- less interaction at the entrance for various properties on the senior living and hospitality side.”


VIRTUAL REALITY CAN SERVE AS A SPACE WHERE PEOPLE AT A DISTANCE CAN SAFELY SHARE EXPERIENCES.


The company’s two-way voice commu-


nication enables a microphone and speaker within each piece of hardware, allowing residents to engage in conversations about their VR experience. “Residents are able to put headsets


on, virtually congregate together, and experience immersive adventures in virtual reality,” Andruszkiewicz says, opening op- portunities to discuss memories and uncover common interests, “which they can then use as a starting point for future conversations and relationship-building.” As the global vaccine distribution process


continues and COVID threat is reduced for the largely vaccinated residents of senior living, providers are assessing the rapid


transition into the digital era and what’s next for the role of technology in senior living communities.


FUTURE ENGAGEMENTS “I believe that many of these technologies


will continue to be integral parts of senior living communities,” writes Embodied Labs’ Washington. “For instance, we will see many more residents continue to connect with loved ones via video conferencing, even as in-person visits start again. We will see more and more older adults communicating with their physicians through telehealth.” And more and more, it appears, tech-


nology isn’t an alternative to engagement activities—it is the engagement.


10 SENIOR LIVING EXECUTIVE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021


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