Closing the Tech Infrastructure Gap at Senior Living Communities

By Tom Gresham T

oo often, older adults are regarded as unwilling to embrace the myri- ad advances that technology has

brought to the modern-day experience. Gary Patrick, CEO of Hotel Internet Services, a provider of secure wired and wireless internet services for senior living communities, among other properties, said outdated stereotypes of seniors struggling to surf the internet should be replaced with visions of them texting with friends on their smartphones, posting pictures on social media, talking to grandkids on FaceTime or Skype, and binge-watching series’ on streaming services. And with each year, the new residents

who move to senior living communities will be more fluent in the use of technology— and more eager to use it. “The adoption rate increases every year,” Patrick said. “Many seniors are very savvy in their use of technology now, and they’ve made it a part of their daily lives.” Delaine Blazek, vice president, North

American sales, senior living for OneView Healthcare, which provides a cloud-based software solution to senior living commu- nities, said health care historically has been slow to adopt new technology, but senior living providers have warmed to the major benefits it can provide to operations and the resident experience, such as through mitigating staffing shortages. Lydia Man- ning, consulting gerontologist for OneView Healthcare, said technology can reshape the way senior living communities operate. “Technology offers the potential to trans-

form inefficient patterns of care delivery and documentation, creating new ways of supporting staff and care providers,” Man- ning said. “This will improve care quality and manage costs while tailoring delivery to

a resident’s needs. Technology also has the potential to improve consumer satisfaction and improve the quality of life within senior living. More than ever, senior living leaders are putting residents’ desires and needs at the center of technology investment planning.” Technology’s positive potential also puts

a lot of pressure on communities to invest resources in new advances and to make good decisions when they do. Navigating the infinite choices for upgrading technol- ogy infrastructure can be a daunting, but necessary task. “We feel as though we’ve got to be on the

forefront of this,” said Kimberly Borts, direc- tor of charitable giving and communications at Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, S.C. “If you’re not, you’re just going to be left behind.”


Evaluation Travis Palmquist, vice president and gen- eral manager of the senior living division at PointClickCare, which provides a cloud- based software platform for senior care, said

“The adoption rate increases every year,” Patrick said. “Many seniors are very savvy in their use of technology now, and they’ve made it a part of their daily lives.”

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