As a prelude for this year’s National Assisted Living Week, which has a theme of “Keep Connected,” residents and staff from five Brandywine Living communities in New Jersey — The Gables, The Sycamore, Governors Crossing, Mountain Ridge and Princeton — recently “connected” at Asbury Park beach, basking in the sun and sharing memories.

See a video of the event at the end of this article.

This year, National Assisted Living Week will be Sept. 11 to 17, according to its founder, the National Center for Assisted Living.

In Alexandria, VA, residents of Spring Hills Mt. Vernon Assisted Living plan to “keep connected” to the world, and especially to family and friends, using Spring Hills’ latest family engagement technology, SMILE. Using SMILE, staff members can electronically track resident activity participation and share the information with families, and they can keep families informed of upcoming events through two-way messaging, photo-sharing and access to community recreation calendars, newsletter and menus.

“This year’s National Assisted Living Week theme … fits perfectly with our Signature Trends program through which we aspire to stay in front of the trends with technology in our communities,” said Rachel Helfand, director of program development and training for Spring Hills Senior Communities.

The community also has planned a week filled with technology-focused activities, including filming a music video, uploading it to YouTube and then sharing it via SMILE and social media; family phone calls using Skype or FaceTime; ordering lunch for delivery using online menus and programs; Wii game dancing with residents’ grandchildren, a week-long walking challenge using pedometers, exercising using YouTube videos and more.

Residents and staff from five Brandywine Living communities enjoy Asbury Park beach.

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