Using more technology in assisted living is now crucial for keeping residents and families connected. However, when we mention technology, you may only think of smartphones, tablets and interactive TVs. It includes much more than just communication. Advances in technology for senior living are more focused on improving quality of life and giving seniors more control over their environment.
At Vibrant Life Senior Living we also focus on living an enriched and vibrant life at all ages and stages.
Let’s explore a variety of ways technology is used by seniors.
Communicating With Family
The strict lockdown of assisted living and memory care communities across Michigan has encouraged new ways to stay in touch. Many of our families happily report that they have more contact with their loved ones now than ever before. This is especially true of long-distance relatives.
Virtual meetings and social hours have definitely been a silver lining in a tough time. It is one practice that our assisted living communities will continue long after Covid-19 is a distant memory.
All of us at Vibrant Life encourage you to use FaceTime, Zoom, Facebook or other video technology as a way to stay in touch with many of your friends and family, no matter how close or far away they live. Especially those who are elderly or live alone. To see a smiling face AND get to hear their voice is a real treat.
In our experience, a small hand-held device like an Ipad or tablet or a laptop computer work best. A smartphone can work too, but may be a bit hard for older residents to hold and see details. Plus, with a bigger screen more family members can participate.
Our staff scheduled these calls with the family and the resident so they know when they are happening. We can assist on our end by holding the device, connecting the call, and participating in the conversation. Sometimes with more advanced memory care patients, their attention span is short and they may get confused. They don’t always understand how they can see their family on the screen. Our staff is there to help everyone through these challenges. Getting to see each other is a huge reward!
Improved Quality of Care
Great strides in technology are also being used to improve the quality of care for seniors as well as improve efficiency for our staff. Many aspects of our health care are now handled and stored electronically. This includes:
- Telehealth Appointments. We have been using tele-medicine more and more. This is a great way for people to see the physicians without having to leave their buildings. It really works!
- Alexa. We are using Alexa more and more in our communities. These are a great way for people to listen to the music they need, and receive information they are looking for just by talking. Ask our staff at Vibrant Life if you are interested in getting hooked up with an Alexa.
- Electronic medical records
- Tracking vital signs
- Providing backup for administering medications
Community-Wide Internet Access
Our residents are increasingly tech-savvy. Many move in with their own devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones. Some use these to participate in lifelong learning, social media, entertainment, or paying bills. People of all ages expect a good internet connection wherever they live, and they get it at Vibrant Life communities. It’s also a good idea to have fast a separate guest networks for visiting friends, relatives and vendors.
Technology is used to make assisted living campuses more secure. Residents who need help can simply press a button and expect a timely emergency response, often anywhere on the assisted living campus. Alarm systems and video cameras are also good tools to have. Coded doors and other building access security can be implemented to keep a tight rein on who is coming and going from the facility and when. Many of these devices can also be used in and around your home to keep your family safe.
Technology in Assisted Living: What’s Next?
If you are thinking about an assisted living or memory care community for your loved one, don’t forget to consider all the technology options available at different places. Some of the technology will be for you to stay connected and have peace of mind. But much of it will be used by and benefit your family member living with us. Please call the Vibrant Life community closest to you to learn more about everything we provide for a happy, healthy, VIBRANT life.
Vibrant Life Superior Township (Ann Arbor, Michigan Area) (734) 484-4740
We look forward to hearing from you!