A Carolina Meadows resident uses the technology. (Photo courtesy of Carolina Meadows).

Editor’s note: McKnight’s Senior Living, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Home Care are publishing focused articles on the 2023 winners of the McKnight’s Excellence in Technology awards Nov. 29 through Dec. 5. Look for the nomination period for the 2024 awards to open in May.

Falls can have more than just physical effects on senior living residents. They also can have mental health effects.

Chapel Hill, NC, continuing care retirement community Carolina Meadows said that use of VirtuSense Technologies’ VSTBalance technology helped residents there regain the confidence in themselves to improve their independent mobility. This effort earned the CCRC a Gold award in the Building Bridges category of the Senior Living track of the 2023 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards.

The Building Bridges category recognized the use of technology to improve connections between staff members and residents and/or their families.

Carolina Meadows said that VSTBalance was introduced on the campus in August 2021 and has been a critical support since its adoption. To date, the CCRC has assessed 562 residents and completed 1,982 individual assessments. On average, resident gait improved 25%, and average forward reach improvement was 39%. Seventy percent of all residents that went through an reassessment improved in either balance, gait or function, according to the community.

“The Carolina Meadows wellness team promotes the GAIT assessment, which uses artificial intelligence, and it has been very helpful and successful in our fall prevention awareness efforts throughout our community,” Carolina Meadows Wellness Services Manager Michelle Marino said. “The data from the assessment has been imperative in measuring the success of our interventions and planning for future fall prevention activities and education. We look forward to continuing to use this new technology.”

Carolina Meadows’ efforts also resulted in the Best in Show award in the 2023 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards.

Other award winners in the Senior Living track’s Building Bridges category:

  • Silver: Arrow Senior Living Management, St. Charles, MO, for its use of the custom Archer Scheduling Tool, designed to stabilize staffing, reduce agency costs and streamline travel team scheduling.
  • Bronze: Ingleside, Rockville, MD, for its use of the Cubigo digital platform, which allows residents to manage their schedules, order meals, make dining reservations, request maintenance, connect with staff members and other residents, and participate in virtual events.

Read about other 2023 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology award winners in the Senior Living track on the McKnight’s Senior Living website, in the Skilled Nursing track on the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News website, and in the Home Care track on the McKnight’s Home Care website.

Sponsors of the 2023 McKnight’s Tech Awards + Summit include LifeLoop, IntelyCare, MatrixCare, PointClickCare and ShiftKey + OnShift.

To view the virtual awards presentation and recordings of the Summit webinars, visit mcknightstechawards.com (free registration required).