(Image courtesy of The Carrington at Lincolnwood)

Protection from falling often is high on the needs list of future senior living residents and their families. The Carrington at Lincolnwood, in Illinois senior living community managed by West Bay Senior Living, has embraced this reality and installed a new check-in system in every independent living apartment.

For its effort, the community has won the Gold award in the Keep It Super Simple category in the Senior Living track of the 2021 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards. The annual awards were presented Wednesday as part of the first McKnight’s Tech Awards + Summit, which also featured four webinars.

With the help of K4Connect, Carrington established an invisible check-in system for residents. The technology is placed inside existing light switches and alerts staff members once in the morning and at a second, optional time in the evening if no movement has occurred in the apartment.

“The residents just go about whatever they would be doing in the morning,” Executive Director Tom Whitaker said. “It’s integrated with the motion sensor light switches that are in their apartments, so they get up and either go to the washroom or go to the kitchen. …They walk past that light switch and they’re checked in.”

Having this check-in system means the residents are not waiting for an uncertain amount of time if they’ve fallen. If no check-in occurs at one of the alert times, then a staff member can check on them immediately.

Whitaker said that although other providers might consider installing this system as a community is being built, it wasn’t too much of a challenge to place it in existing light switches. K4Connect also allows for new technology to be added to apartments in the future. According to him, any time and expense was worth it.

“It’s really given the residents and their family members peace of mind,” Whitaker said. “We were able to install it in-house using our maintenance staff, and it just involved a slight modification to the switch box. …It’s simple [and] it doesn’t add a task to the residents’ daily lives.”

Other Keep it Super Simple awards on the Senior Living track:

  • Silver: Seattle-based Pillar Properties, for its use of the Google Nest Hub Max that helps residents visit with family members and see virtual events.
  • Bronze: Texas-based Delaney at South Shore, for its partnership with KARE that, through a digital marketplace of employees, helped them address staffing challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read about the Keep It Super Simple category winners 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.

Articles about the Building Bridges and Quality category winners were published previously (this sentence contains links to the Senior Track winners). Articles about winners in the Innovator of the Year category will be published tomorrow.

See a list of all 2021 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards Senior Living track finalists here.

Sponsors of the 2021 McKnight’s Technology Awards + Summit program are Consensus, iN2L, Medline and SimplyConnect. To view the awards presentation and recordings of the webinars, visit mcknights.com/techawards2021.