Midsection of senior man booking online appointment on mobile phone at table
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The use of technology to augment personalized care is growing in the senior living industry, but communities also are looking for operations and administrative solutions, according to a new report.

“Senior Living 2023: The State of Engagement and Technology” is the fourth report from iN2L + LifeLoop on trends regarding the adoption, state and effects of technology on residents, staff and families in senior living communities.

Safe Growth Partners healthcare consulting firm conducted a survey of 110 senior living community leaders in November. This survey was a follow-up to three previous ones going back to March 2019.

“This year is unique in that we are seeing senior living leaders beginning to recognize technology as a powerful tool that can augment not only their resident engagement strategies, but also generate efficiencies that support their workforce and act a as a powerful connector to loved ones and families living outside the community walls,” iN2L + LifeLoop CEO Navin Gupta said in a statement. “More and more operators are turning to technology to update and transform the aging experience, not just for residents, but for the entire community.”

The report says that a “paradigm shift” is occurring in senior living technology, from resident-centric engagement solutions to enterprise platforms that support all areas of community life.

Sixty-nine percent of survey respondents said that engagement technology helps improve the overall quality of care provided in their communities. Giving residents personalized experiences also remains a goal for most — 85% of respondents agreed that the ability to augment personalized care and provide engaging experiences is one of the most important benefits of technology.

At the same time, 91% of respondents said that they continue to experience significant staffing challenges. Respondents said that enabling family and resident communications (79%) and helping staff members coordinate personalized programming and activities (74%) were the most important ways for technology to support residents and the workforce.

Just more than one-third (35%) of respondents said they used technology to keep residents connected to loved ones. Of those not using technology to connect residents with loved ones, 61% indicated that they would like to adopt a platform immediately or soon.

What’s next for senior living?

According to the report, the data suggest that technology providers will need to offer solutions that include “robust” engagement modules, as well as features and functionalities that support daily routines, administrative workflow, family connection, resident requests, personalized intake processes and more. 

Technology solutions that promote personalized and engaging residential experiences, and that contribute to well-being, were ranked more highly as top benefits than solutions that align with workforce and occupancy challenges, according to the report.

“To continue demonstrating value to organizations, technology partners will be expected to support more use cases than ever before, from enabling engagement and resident connection, to filling gaps during staffing shortages to streamlining operational workforces, and more,” the report reads. “This underscores leaders’ growing realization that engagement is now table stakes, and the industry must grow comfortable leveraging technology to streamline daily workflows for staff and help families feel more connected.”

The report concluded that senior living communities will continue to invest in engagement and personalization technology while expanding their focus to operational, administrative and community-centric solutions to entertain, support and connect residents, staff members and families.