woman sitting at counter with laptop and voice-activated device

A senior living provider is using artificial intelligence technology to extend the ability of its workforce to support the increasing demands of its growing population of residents with complex needs.

Lutheran Life Communities of Arlington Heights, IL, is equipping 45 of its Hearthstone assisted living apartments at Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights — where 25 apartments already were equipped with the technology — and Wittenberg Village in Crown Point, IN — where 18 apartments already were outfitted — with Caspar.AI smart home technology.

The Redwood City, CA, firm uses human-centered technology in senior living communities, including voice command technology and automated notifications that provide remote detection of falls, automated check-ins and daily wellness updates. 

Maia Bonner, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Lutheran Life, said the life plan community provider found during the pandemic that there was a lack of communication between residents and family members. Now family members can load an app on their smartphones to see how active their loved one has been, providing “a little peace of mind.”

Bonner told McKnight’s Senior Living that the smart technology includes sensors set up throughout a resident’s apartment. The voice-activated technology allows residents to adjust their lighting, but it also alerts caregivers to a potential emergency.

Lutheran Life Communities took advantage of the pandemic to install the technology in empty apartments. Residents who move in can opt into the pilot program at no cost to them. The community is just getting ready to launch it after conducting testing, Bonner said.

“We wanted to enhance the services and communication with residents and their families,” she said. “Assisted living is a very competitive market, and this really gives us a differentiator in the marketplace.”

If the pilot goes well, Bonner said, the potential exists to expand the program to other senior living communities and unlock additional features, including voice-activated climate control and window coverings.

“Voice command will be a big benefit for residents with mobility challenges, and the ability of Caspar.AI to detect potential resident falls or incidents without the use of wearable devices will bring peace of mind to our residents’ families,” Lutheran Home Executive Director Anshu Raina said. 

In addition to providing voice assistance with Alexa for residents to contact staff members, the technology also will provide daily wellness and sleep quality reports, and will facilitate daily communication to family members. 

“We see this as an opportunity to enhance communication for residents and families,” Lutheran Life Communities CEO Sloan Bentley said. “Families will have a new level of peace of mind and connection, even when they can’t be there.”

Caspar.AI Vice President of Sales Joe Anderson said the focus is on making life easier for assisted living residents.

“We also provide team members with daily data reports to enhance their resident programming,” Anderson said. “There is also a feature which allows family members of residents to connect through their own smart device to check on a resident’s health. We call that feature ‘How’s Mom?’ ”