When it comes to Senior Living industry trends, more designs are incorporating technology to ensure communities are ready for the future of care. Staying up to date on next-gen technology has many benefits, including staff efficiency, resident safety and marketability. There are a variety of products and solutions to consider as you design your space.
Technology plays a significant role in how prospective residents manage their day-to-day activities, healthcare management and social engagement. The United States Census Bureau says about 10,000 Baby Boomers turn age 65 every day. By 2030, the entire generation will reach this age. Baby Boomers will demand environments that are technologically enabled. They currently have more access to the outside world through technology than previous generations, and they will want to keep that access when they move into a Senior Living community. Leverage the benefits of the latest technology in your community with these tips.
Technology Tips for Resident Rooms
Resident rooms are technology hubs – both for caregivers and residents. Consider the necessary clinical technology as well as any personal electronics the resident may bring into the room.
- Keep residents safer with artificial intelligence fall detection technology. Falls have increased 20% during the pandemic1, but SafelyYou’s fall detection technology has shown strong results – up to 40% decrease in falls2, up to 80% decrease in ER visits2,3, and an improved length of stay in Memory Care communities of 2X translating to an additional $100,000 in revenue for a 30-bed memory care unit in only six months.4
- Help your residents stay connected with friends and family with strong Wi-Fi network infrastructure, which has quickly become a must-have utility for America’s Seniors and their families.
- Real Time Locating Systems, like CenTrak’s TruView platform, enhance safety and security through advanced locating, contact tracing and roaming and wandering protection, all through a single wearable device.
- Look for technology that creatively uses voice assistants and voice automation, like RCare’s nurse call system that allows residents to use Alexa to request care assistance.
- Get ahead of the trend and opt for a 40” or 43” resident room television. Need a TV for a semi-private room? Consider a Long Term Care TV, which not only extends warranties and provides longer run time but also eliminates interference issues with 2 or more remotes in a room.
- Motion-sensing floor lighting can help prevent falls in the middle of the night by illuminating walking paths.
- Conceal cords with charging stations in drawers and cabinets. Place pop-up outlets in desks or countertops, or choose furnishings with built-in USB ports.
- Use mirrors with LED lighting that is more efficient, longer lasting, and offers a range of lighting styles, like strong, bright light during the day and softer light at night.
Technology Tips for Lobbies
Entrances, foyers and lobbies are also great spots to consider adding tech. Make a great first impression with elevated design and technology for infection prevention. Try including these technology systems:
- Thermal Temperature Scanning – prevent infection spread by capturing guests’ temperature and screening question responses.
- Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization – ensure safe air quality with this technology that inactivates 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 in 30 minutes.5
- Access Control – bolster your building security plan with a smart security system using ID badges and fobs. Understand who is entering or exiting your community and allow or deny access based on a person’s need to be in a specific area all with your computer or smartphone.
- Digital Signage – make an impression by featuring a digital sign in your lobby with information about your community like daily activities, meal information and more.
- Wander Management – safely foster resident independence with systems featuring resident-specific door locking options based on individual care needs.
- Video Surveillance – keep an eye on potential security concerns or use the latest in artificial intelligence to quickly search video in real or recorded time to see and confirm events
Technology Tips for Multipurpose Rooms
Because a multipurpose room serves so many functions, it’s key to equip it with technology that helps staff facilitate whatever the day has in store. Consider what the programming needs are so you can help you make sure technology is seamlessly incorporated into the design process from day one. Here are tips for tech-friendly multipurpose rooms:
- Since newer furniture can feature built-in power outlets, ensure your furniture layout will accommodate electric and bandwidth connectivity.
- During construction, keep outlet location as flexible as possible until after the millwork is complete so outlets don’t interfere.
- Include flexible technology that’s easy to hide away depending on the use of the space. Add portable furniture and electronics like wireless mics, motorized drop-down screens, portable speakers on stands, projectors on carts and other technology that can facilitate special events.
- Make sure your wireless network covers the multipurpose room, and if there is an exterior
spillover area, make sure the WiFi signal reaches that space as well. Solid furniture, like a cabana, can be equipped with WiFi boosters.
Technology Tips for Theater Rooms
Outfitting theater rooms with the latest technology can help guarantee these destination spaces remain popular among residents. Follow these tips for immersive theaters:
- Create a dynamic experience by adding a popcorn machine, projector, appropriate lighting, electronic curtains in front of the screen and speakers in the walls with architectural detailing to hide them.
- Consider the viewing angle that best suits the shape of the room. Seniors’ eyesight is more limited, especially peripheral vision, so the room layout will need to support more direct sight lines.
- Include electronic room darkening shades if there are windows in the theater.
- Install an assisted hearing system for seniors who are hard of hearing.
- Avoid multi-channel surround sound. An immersive listening experience is great, but separating sound means Seniors will miss some of the audio. Instead, send all sound through all speakers so everyone can hear all of the audio accompanying the video.
The Bottom Line: Tech-Savvy Tips for Senior Living by Room Type
Need help integrating new technology into your community? Technology can often be overlooked, under budgeted or left to the last minute. Contact our technology experts – they are ready to help you weave-in tech early in the design process so it will all go smoothly. If you are an interior designer, contact our Designer Link team for all your technology design and procurement needs.
120% increase based on comparison of two four-week periods, one before COVID-19 and one when COVID-19 distancing protocols were in effect. Data based on detected falls in 23 communities using the SafelyYou solution.
2Aggregated data from facilities prior to and after implementing the SafelyYou solution during a 32 week period in 2019-2020. Individual and community results will vary based on a variety of factors.
3Xiong GL, Bayen E, Nickels S, et al. Real-time video detection of falls in dementia care facility and reduced emergency care. Am J Manag Care. 2019;25(7):314-315.
4$100,000 in revenue for a 30-bed memory care unit in only six months if charging $7,000 per month for memory care. Includes the following assumptions: 68% starting occupancy, 480-day average length of stay before SafelyYou, 85% opt-in with SafelyYou, 3-month average ramp-time with SafelyYou, and no additional investments in quality of care. Learn more via the white paper.
5Inactivation results based on sensitivity testing conducted by an independent third-party testing laboratory using control chambers. Multiple data points are used to formulate performance validation statements. The technology is used in a wide range of applications across diverse environmental conditions. Results in non-lab environments will vary; clients should evaluate their individual application and environmental conditions when making an assessment regarding the technology’s potential benefits. For all independent laboratory results, contact your TELS Representative at IndoorAirQuality@Directs.com. The use of this technology is not intended to take the place of reasonable precautions to prevent the transmission of pathogens (including COVID-19). Comply with all applicable public health laws and guidelines as well as CDC guidance.