Senior woman using digital tablet on apartment balcony

Amid community lockdowns for COVID-19, more senior living leaders began to understand the importance of engagement technology more than ever. In fact, the number of leaders who view the technology as having a clear return on investment for their communities has more than doubled since the pandemic began, jumping from 24% to 48%, according to a report released Thursday by senior living technology firm iN2L.

The report, which compares responses from more than 100 senior living leaders collected in March of last year and then again in June, also suggests that more leaders now believe engagement technology differentiates their communities, compared with 2019. Respondents who say their community is definitely or probably differentiated due to these investments have increased from 73% to 88%. 

Senior living leaders also reported that their communities are doing a better job at engaging residents. Almost two-thirds (63%) reported that they now do this very or extremely well, versus only around half (53%) in 2019. This could be due to a heightened focus on resident engagement and compensation for not being able to carry out normal in-person visits and activities. 

“COVID-19 has challenged community leaders in so many ways, and they have risen to the occasion,” said Lisa Taylor, iN2L’s CEO. “We predict that it’s going to be the norm to see engagement technology come out of the activity department silo and permeate every aspect of senior living.”

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