Technology That Helps Seniors Live Well in 2022

If you’re wondering how technology helps seniors live well, you’re in luck. Technology has advanced so much and is now so user-friendly, seniors are taking charge and living their best lives. In this article, we will review some of the latest developments older adults enjoy using to stay connected.

True high-tech is easy to use

There’s no longer any need to be apprehensive about becoming tech-savvy. The measure of the most cutting-edge technology is not how complex it is or how powerful it can be. The best technology is easy to use. That’s why it’s so many seniors are engaging technology to maintain and strengthen their bonds with family members.

Get back in the game

technology-that-helps-seniors-live-better-2022-videogames-voice-activated-tech-face-time-whats-app-virtual-assistant

If you can use a keyboard or if you can use your voice, you can get right back in the game with a rich, connected life. Whether you’re in a senior living facility or receiving senior care at home, all you need is an internet connection, and the world will come to you.

For a long time, technology has made it possible to play games, remind you of daily activities and even trigger an emergency response when necessary.

Today, simple-to-use devices can provide fall detection to family members and automatic alerts to the people you choose. Many of these devices are voice-activated and work in real-time as things are happening. The simplicity is a game-changer for everyone.

Face-to-face video chatting with friends and family

Absolutely nothing can replace being face to face with your family and friends. Well, now you can see their smiles up close even when their thousands of miles away. Face-to-face video chatting is easier now than it has ever been. Whether you have an Apple device or an Android device, you have a variety of ways to connect.

senior-tech-quality-of-life-saving-lives-video-chatting-stay-connected-voice-activated-older-adults

How to use WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Google Duo:

FaceTime for iPhone users: Go to settings on your iPhone or IPad and scroll to and tap”FaceTime.” There’s a slide-type switch next to it. Slide it over to activate it. Go back to your home screen and finger tap on the FaceTime symbol. Next, there’s a button in the top right-hand corner with a plus sign on it. Tap it. If this seems too difficult, text your contact and have them initiate a FaceTime call to you. That’s what I do.

Google Duo of Android users: So what, you don’t have an iPhone. You can use an Android tablet or phone to get the same thing. Simply use your browser to go to the Google Play Store. That’s where you can download Google Duo for free. Once you’re there, it couldn’t be more simple to use.

WhatsApp video calls for everyone: It’s the most used messaging application in the world. More than two billion people use it to message each other and video chat. Go to whatsapp.com and download the app for free. The rest is easy. That’s what makes it number one.

How to use a Ring Doorbell:

First things first, you can set up a Ring Doorbell anywhere. It doesn’t need to be at your front door. You can put it anywhere you want 2-way communication that features video and audio. When you use it at your front door, you can see who’s there, and you can tell them anything you like.

Buy one or more of the devices and create an account. If you have trouble with it, ask someone to help. Once you create an account, follow the instructions, and “presto,” you have a virtual butler to see who's at your door.

Hi, Echo, what is the weather forecast for today?

The Amazon Echo has been called a “gateway technology.” Once you use it, you’ll be hooked forever. Use it to set daily reminders, find out what the weather is going to be, or get a recap of the local news. It could not be easier to use.

Pretty soon, you’ll be asking it to tell you a joke or recite a recipe for you. Can you imagine? Just ask it anything. We can’t promise you’ll get the answer you want, but the fun you’ll have is guaranteed to make you smile.

technology-that-helps-seniors-virtual-assistant-Amazon-Alexa-stay-connected-older-adults-fall-detection

Tile: How to never lose anything again:

I don’t care what age you’re at; misplacing things is a pain. Keys, wallets, your passport, a scrap of paper with the combination to your giant safe – you can find anything with a Tile attached to it.

I have no idea how it works. Maybe it’s pure magic. What I can tell you is that it couldn’t be easier to locate whatever you’re looking for when you put a Tile on it and you search on a smartphone or tablet.

The easiest way to track your vitals:

The latest bracelet activity monitor can track your blood pressure. How about that? Of course, you can keep track of how many steps you take a day. It can measure your heart rate, and it can tell you what time it is.

There are quite a few of these products that are available today, so make sure you read the reviews before you buy.

How to get the technology you need

If you’re at a facility, the Executive Director will be more than glad to help. If you’re at home, try searching on Google. At Wytcote, our only goal is to help seniors live their best lives, and we’d be happy to help you find what you need, wherever you are.

How Technology Provides Peace of Mind to Seniors

Whether you are an in-home senior or and out-of-home senior, modern technology can help you make things easier for yourself. There aren’t any complicated new skills you need. Gone are the days that just getting the VCR to stop flashing 12:00 was a challenge for all but the geekiest tech savvy person.

High tech today is designed with normal people in mind. Intuitive and easy-to-understand technologies for seniors have been refined and simplified over time. This tech is giving peace of mind to seniors all across the world.

Stay connected

When we get older and wiser, we finally realize what’s truly important in life. And that is to stay connected to family members and friends.

Today’s advanced devices are designed to help you stay close to the people you love, and that love you. Many devices can be voice-activated. You can make calls and set reminders without having to type endlessly on or peck on a touch screen to accomplish what you want.

Video chatting can bring you face to face

peace-of-mind-for-seniors-video-chat-technology-tech-zoom-skype-facetime-WytCote-Wellness

If you cannot be in the same room with friends and family as often as you would like, video chatting is almost as good. You can’t get or give a hug over the internet, but you can look into the eyes of the person you’re talking to. It is so comforting to see the face of the people you love.

Safe and sound senior living

Have you heard the expression, “It takes a village?” Well, as an older adult, if you can’t go to the village, the virtual village can come to you.

Way, way back you could always count on a neighbor to lend a hand. People knew almost everyone else in the neighborhood, and someone to help or visit with was never too far away. Things are different now.

However, today you can be part of a virtual neighborhood made up of friends and family that might be in a different city or even a different country. And with today’s smart devices, you can connect with them almost as easily as you could when you lived across the street from a kind soul. It’s as close as you can get to them in real-time.

Senior care has been simplified

Senior living does not have to include having someone who is there 24/7. There are many seniors who prefer to be as independent as they can whether they are in or out of the home. This is where today’s advanced technology and care systems really shine.

There are wearable smart devices with fall detection sensors that will alert caregivers automatically. You don’t have to do a thing. The same goes for monitoring your blood pressure and your heart rate. Smartwatches and wearable blood pressure monitors are very convenient for seniors who prefer not to slow down to monitor their vitals.

An overview of how technology provides peace of mind

tech-savvy-senior-living-fall-detection-play-games-high-tech-video-chatting-stay-connected-family-members

Smartphone apps for older people

The Apple App Store is a great place to start if you have an iPhone or an iPad. If you prefer Android devices, Google has a vast number of apps for you to use for all sorts of things.

Ordering take-out is like ordering room service at a hotel

It’s not like it used to be. The pandemic accelerated the number of fast and easy-to-use delivery services that can deliver from your favorite restaurant.

Here are just a few of the delivery services you can use:

Uber Eats

DoorDash

Grubhub

Grocery delivery

For those seniors who like to cook for themselves, many grocery stores provide delivery service, and you can always opt for Amazon Fresh.

Prepared meals and semi-prepared meals

Sometimes cooking from scratch is a lot of work. These services can accommodate your needs:

Instacart

HelloFresh

Silver Cuisine

Blue Apron

Getting around town

Who needs a car when you can order an Uber or a Lyft any time you like? Your community may also have its own complimentary transportation services for seniors. In addition, there may be a regional transportation service meant for senior citizens that you can use. One of them is GoGoGrandparent.

Challenge someone to play games with you

Many smart devices are fun to play games with. You can track your own progress and then video chat with your friends to compare scores. Wordle is a great word game that offers a new word quiz every day. These are great for residents in memory care units.

An overview of smart devices

Smartphones are much easier to operate than they used to be. And a lot of them are powerfully little computers that can do amazing things for you.

voice-activated-smart-speaker-peace-of-mind-to-seniors-living-technology-WytCote-Technologies-assisted-living-virtual-assistant

Wearable fitness trackers

Some of them look like bracelets. At the same time, others look like a watch. All of them can perform a variety of functions that can help you stay healthy and let others know how you’re doing.

Tablets and E-Readers

Tablets and iPads are just like a laptop, only simpler to use. They can do just about anything a computer can, and they’re much easier to carry around. E-Readers may not be as versatile, but they can sure make reading a book an absolute pleasure no matter how large you want to make the type.

Medical Alert Systems & Devices

These have been around forever. Today, they come in many forms, and they have a variety of settings so you can determine who will be contacted should you have an accident. There’s also professional backup with a trained operator who can step in to help.

At home or away – these devices can be indispensable

Smart speakers like Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and Amazon Alexa can give you reminders, make calls, play music, and give you up to the minute weather data.

Smart Sensors like Nest, Abode, and Aloe Care learn your daily activities and monitor what’s happening in your home. The sensors will send out an alert if anything out of the usual occurs.

Audio/Video Doorbells with TalkBack -- Blink, Arlo, Nest, and Ring are some of the most popular. You don’t even have to be home to see who is ringing your doorbell, and the best part is you can talk to whoever is there.

What Does My Staff Need to Know to Care for the Elderly?

Many elders prefer aging in place. In fact, most of them choose in-home care support rather than nursing homes or assisted living. But as their needs change, safety concerns, getting around, and other activities of daily living grow. So they turn to senior care services to improve their quality of life and not worry about safety issues, among other reasons. Staff training is crucial to their overall quality of care.

Unfortunately, if statistics are anything to go by, many senior adults suffer at the hands of caregivers and other senior home staff. They’re hurt, neglected, isolated, among other things. World Health Organization reports that 1 in 6 people 60+ years experienced some form of abuse in senior living in 2020.

As the owner or manager of a senior living community, you must ensure that these elders get the care services they deserve. Not just for the reputation of your facility, but for compliance reasons. Every state has its regulatory requirements for senior living homes, and all stakeholders must understand them. 

Staff training provides the easiest way to comply and meet the elder’s needs. It arms your staff with knowledge about:

 

staff-training-senior-living-community-mental-health-care-services-elderly-residents

Understanding the unique needs of older adults

Older adults are faced with a range of physical, psychological, and social challenges due to age-related issues. As such, they need support in activities related to daily living, self-care & mobility, social activities & relationships, and mental health.

These adults also desire to cope with their illness while still living independently. However, environmental factors like lack of information on services like care pathways, lack of professional advice on self-care strategies, and poor communication & coordination of services get in the way of these efforts.

 

How senior living staff can help

The senior living staff has to help to this end. They can ensure that adults lead comfortable lives in living homes. First, however, they’ll need the training to better care for these adults while complying with the law.

Assisted living facilities often have different staff types, as shown below:

The training may be specific to staff types or general. For example, support personnel may go through specific healthcare topics, but there are still common areas of training that all staff should be exposed to.

 

What your staff needs to know to care for the elderly

One of the greatest concerns in senior-living communities is the safety and well-being of its elderly residents. Regardless of their positions, your staff needs to be adequately trained on things like cognitive impairment, the aging process, infection control, fire and life safety, etc.

They should also learn about basic food safety, emergencies, and fall prevention. Training ensures that all members of staff react appropriately when necessary. It also ensures your facility complies with your state’s regulatory requirements.

 

Compliance aspects

All staff members should be trained on compliance aspects. They should know:

 

nursing-home-staff-training-WytCote-Wellness-Senior-Sense-technology-monitoring-residents-in-assisted-living

Infection control and prevention

With approximately 1 to 3 million serious infections happening every year in skilled nursing assisted living and nursing homes, the importance of infection control and prevention can’t be overstated. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to infections and communicable diseases like COVID-19. With this training, your staff should be able to:

 

Lifesaving skills

You can also train your staff some basic lifesaving skills. At a minimum, teach them to perform first aid and CPR. This can be lifesaving, especially if you have at-risk seniors in your facility.

 

Cognitive training

If your senior living facility has residents with cognitive conditions like dementia, you should have training sessions for your staff about health complications, hydration, wandering, aggressive behaviors, dignity and sexuality issues, and sundowning.

Wellness and lifestyle

A lifestyle approach helps seniors improve their physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and intellectual well-being. Your staff should also learn about therapeutic interventions, activities, and communication.

 

Other residential training

You should train employees to know:

 

Management training

Your management team should know the following.

Staff training is a great way to care for adults and stay compliant with the regulations. But unless you keep track of all the training your staff gets, you might never realize its full impact. Tracking staff training can give you a clear picture of where you stand. It also provides data to help make informed business decisions for a better future.

 

what-does-my-staff-need-to-know-to-care-for-the-elderly-staff-training-senior-living-communities-nursing-home-assisted-living

Track staff training

A lot of work and resources go into staff training. But unless you track your work, your efforts might go to waste. By tracking your staff training, you can:

  1. Analyze statistics (who took what course, how many people were trained, and the average score) ad monitor learners’ progress.
  2. Determine whether the training offers a good return on investment (ROI).
  3. Ensure that all staff members have received compulsory compliance training.
  4. Document everything that’s happening as you create a learning culture in the facility

There are different ways to track staff training. Here are a few examples.

Staff training is easier with the right business system, and with the suggestions above, you should have an easier time navigating the process. If you’re having a hard time implementing these systems in your senior living home, we can help. Get in touch with us today.

Can A CRM Help With My Senior Care Community?

The National Investment Center for the Senior Housing and care (NIC) recently reported that senior housing occupancy in the United States has been lowest since 2020. Therefore, your senior care community needs to stand out to get more clients.

The method you use to store, collect and retrieve data on leads in your community’s sales cycle is important. It helps determine how easy it will be to convert prospects to residents in your senior care community.

Initially, senior living communities tracked leads and managed client relationships with spreadsheets or the usual pen and paper. However, with advancements in technology, spreadsheets may no longer be efficient. Most successful senior care communities use a software called Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to track leads and manage client relationships.

This article discusses CRM in detail. We will look at what it is, how it will help your senior care community, and why you should consider it.

What is a CRM?

CRM software is a tool that senior care communities use to market, manage sales, and build relationships that provide referrals and build occupancy. The software achieves this by centralizing customer data from various sources, thus making it easier for you to make intelligent business decisions.

A CRM also allows you to maximize referrals and leads through automated communications and tracking interactions. You can actively engage with people listed in your software. Doing so goes a long way in converting them to residents.

CRM-software-management-healthcare-industry-solutions-lead-generation-memory-care-facilities

How CRM helps you engage with prospects

Seniors, especially those living with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive impairment, require a high level of care. For instance, if the senior has dementia, they will need to select one out of many memory care facilities that prioritize dementia care.

Since relocating to a senior community involves uprooting their entire lifestyles, seniors or family members taking care of them know it’s a big decision. It is only natural that prospects will research senior care communities as much as possible and ask questions when they need clarification. Your job is to provide them with all the relevant information and answer any questions.

Actively engaging with prospects makes them perceive your community as knowledgeable. It also shows that you care about their welfare.

CRM makes engaging with prospects relatively easy through automation. Additionally, when your community’s representatives contact prospects in real life, you can track and monitor their performance. Generally, CRM platforms ensure you don’t lose any leads.

Why use a CRM in your senior care community?

Building relationships is critical in every senior living community. You may initiate relationships through interpersonal interactions, personalized tours, and marketing campaigns, but you still need to turn prospects into clients.

Since most communities have several team members and prospects, there is a need to maintain trusting, consistent, and strong relationships between prospective clients and the brand. This is where a CRM comes in.

A CRM system consolidates client information and manages client relationships on your behalf. Below are ways a CRM can help your senior care community.

Capturing leads and critical information

With CRM, you can easily capture and store data on prospective residents in a centralized location. By doing so, you can see what information they are interested in and track your interaction with them.

This information will also come in handy in care planning when the prospect becomes a resident.

Nurturing prospects to increase occupancy

A CRM enables you to stay in touch with your prospects and build relationships with them. You can collect data on their goals and interests and save the information to your CRM to deliver a personalized experience.

The CRM can easily create personalized communications to tailor-fit the prospects’ profiles so that the information they get is what they need.

Increased insight

A CRM software enables sales and marketing teams to view relevant data and prospect statistics. This way, you can tell which audiences you have been more successful with and which ones require more effort.

A CRM solution also helps you and your staff make appropriate follow-ups.

With increased insight, your sales process will be highly effective since you know exactly where you need to focus. The prospect report from a CRM helps you prioritize the strong prospects you can potentially convert to customers. You can use various marketing and sales tactics on these prospects, including direct mail and targeted online advertisements.

CRM-software-insights-care-planning-living-with-dementia-assisted-living-memory-care-facilities

Automation

A CRM will reduce the response time of your senior care community through automation. The CRM tools change the reporting process from manual to automated. You can filter the automated dashboard to display as little or as much data as you want.

Additionally, the software can schedule follow-up e-mails or calls and issue post-tour surveys. Using this technology can also reduce human error, saving you a lot of time and resources.

Automation also allows you to reallocate valuable resources. Instead of focusing on data entry or management, you can build meaningful relationships with prospective clients. Additionally, you can follow up on your prospects faster. This way, they will deem your senior care community reliable and responsive.

Improved reporting and analytics

Your CRM allows you to manage all your data in one place. You can use it to generate reports which present and interpret essential data.

Additionally, you can monitor your sales and marketing team’s performance and analyze sales activity, trends, and referral sources.

Revenue tracking

A CRM automatically allows you to cross-reference the revenue you have earned with your marketing efforts.

With a CRM, you can quickly evaluate how effective your marketing methods are by tracking your margins and comparing your expenditure and revenue. Together with demographic insights, this information will help you focus on audiences with a higher purchasing power.

Get started with CRM for your senior care community

CRM is an essential tool for every senior care community. It promotes efficiency and helps turn prospects into customers.

Our CRM is tailor-made for senior care communities. Contact us to get more information on how our CRM tool will help you. It is designed to build occupancy in your senior care community and make more profit in the process. We would be delighted to show you how our CRM tool can seamlessly integrate into your community.

 (877) 472-5587

Smart Technology for Senior Living Is Growing Fast

The older people get, the more support they need from caregivers, friends and family members. Additionally, there is a need for older adults to live in residences that accommodate the ordinary incapacities of old age, including but not limited to reduced mobility, reduced vision, and increased risk of falls.

Smart devices can make seniors’ everyday life safer and more independent. This article discusses the various smart home devices that promote independence and convenience in the senior living community. Some of these devices can potentially save their lives when they are in danger.

Smart devices and their benefits

Smart devices make assisted living and memory care for seniors much easier. Here are a few devices that have proved efficient for older adults.

smart-devices-senior-technology-personal-assistant-voice-commands-security-cameras-in-home-health-care-assisted-living-homes

Cameras

You may not want to have 24/7 feed on what your loved one is doing. However, security cameras come in very handy when you’re caring for them remotely. You can see when they are moving around and who visits the house when your loved one is alone through the live video feed.

Note that the decision to install cameras in your loved one’s home is a big decision. Some seniors may find it highly intrusive. Therefore, it is essential you discuss the issue with them, outline the benefits, and let them decide whether or not they are okay with it.

Automated thermostats

For seniors, day-to-day tasks like adjusting the thermostat for heating and cooling purposes can be cumbersome. Smart thermostats make their life easier by allowing them to regulate temperature without necessarily moving. The thermostats can either be voice-controlled or remote-controlled.

Smart lighting

Smart lighting features smart light bulbs that allow you to dictate lighting on schedules and turn the lights on and off using a smartphone. Additionally, you can set it so that the light is triggered by movement, i.e., it goes on when someone walks in the room and off when they walk out.

The two best features of smart lighting are automation and the hands-free feature. Therefore, it promotes independence and safety.

Smart emergency contact systems

An emergency contact system is a wearable electronic device that gives on-call monitoring and alerts you when your loved one falls.

emergency-alert-smart-devices-senior-care-technology-2022-WytCote-Tech

If your loved one is not a fan of wearing electronic devices, you can opt for non-contact devices like smart speakers.

A smart speaker has emergency alert features that make it possible for your loved one to contact emergency services in case of an emergency.

Biomedical monitoring devices

If you’re worried about your loved one’s health, especially if they live alone, you can buy biomedical monitoring devices that they can wear inside and out of the house. These devices will alert you when anything is out of the ordinary.

Biomedical monitoring devices not only monitor your loved one’s vital signs but also provide data to medical practitioners for early diagnosis and treatment in case of emergencies. 

Smart contact sensors

These smart home products benefit seniors with dementia since they tend to leave the house without warning. Smart contact sensors use smart sensor technology to issue alerts on when doors and windows are opened.

You can install contact sensors on windows and doors to get alerted on when they have been opened and for how long they have stayed open. This way, your loved one’s safety is increased. 

Smart locks

It is common for seniors to forget to lock their windows and doors. A smart lock allows you to check whether the windows and doors are locked. Additionally, you can lock doors and windows remotely so that your loved one doesn’t have to.

Smart locks come in handy if your loved one occasionally wanders out of the house. They are also helpful when keys get misplaced.

Note that smart locks may not be ideal for people with memory issues.

Smart smoke detectors

Smoke detectors are a must-have in every home. When it comes to seniors, it is highly recommended that you get smart smoke detectors since they may fail to hear the regular smoke alarm in the home and react to it quickly enough. Smart smoke detectors deliver audible sirens in the house and send alerts to caregivers, friends, and neighbors through smartphone alerts. This way, the senior’s safety is guaranteed.  

Smart displays and voice communication devices

You can buy a smart screen to keep in touch with your loved one easily. This smart home device connects to Wi-Fi and allows voice and video calls to people outside the house. Additionally, they have voice control, enabling seniors to do various tasks like looking up the news, calling up contacts, and searching for information through voice commands.

Smart home assistants

smart-home-device-Amazon-Alexa-Google-assistant-voice-commands-surveillance-concerns

Smart home assistants like Alexa and Google assistant have gained popularity over the years. They make menial tasks easier for seniors.

Most smart home assistants follow voice commands. Therefore, they are convenient for seniors. Other than that, they can control other smart devices in the house, i.e., they can make phone calls, play music, read books, search for information, among others tasks.

Privacy and security concerns

As discussed above, smart home technology has several benefits. However, there are surveillance concerns. Most of the devices that stem from surveillance and security systems may infringe on seniors’ privacy and control.

Using technology to promote the safety and independence of seniors is advantageous. Still, if you do it incorrectly and without the senior’s consent, the one-way surveillance infringes on their privacy.

To avoid this, caregivers need to communicate openly with their loved ones. Choose devices that offer two-way communication, so instead of you simply watching your loved ones, you can communicate with them.

Tech companies are also moving away from invasive products and creating products specifically tailored for seniors.

Other than privacy concerns, there are security concerns. Most smart devices have software that requires consistent password changes to ensure that they are not susceptible to breaches. 

Conclusion

Most seniors have embraced smart technology since it gives them a sense of independence. Contact us if you’re looking for smart devices for your loved one. We are a smart home hub that offers tailor-made solutions to suit your loved one’s needs.

Top Modifications for Senior Living Spaces

Seniors are more vulnerable to slip and fall, especially if they have long-term health issues. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Unfortunately, falls are the leading cause of injury, hospital admissions, and even death among this population. When falls happen, they can result in broken bones, hip fractures, head injuries, and even depression. That’s why modifications for senior living spaces need to be made to lower the chances of slip and fall accidents.

The fear of falling becomes more common as people age, even among those who haven’t fallen. It can make the elderly avoid social and physical activities like shopping, walking, or interacting. Senior-proofing your senior living community can give residents confidence that they are safe and encourage them to participate in different activities. It can also lower the chances of accidents happening.

modifications-for-senior-living-spaces-assisted-living-facility-safety-construction-design-professional

That being said, here are some top modifications for senior living spaces:

Install stair railings

A majority of stairway falls result from loss of balance. And with issues like stiff or damaged joints, neurological conditions, and ear problems being common among the elderly, it’s easy to see what loss of balance happens a lot. Since stairway accidents can lead to severe injury and even death, installing quality stair railings is essential. Good design and construction of stairs and handrails can substantially minimize the chances of misstepping by offering a way to retrieve balance.

Note: When installing handrails, it’s best to put them on both sides of the stairways. But if your stairway is wide, you can put a single handrail at the center. Rounded handrails also perform better as they fit the hand better than other designs.

Modify bathtub and showers to make them more accessible

bathroom-shower-toilet-construction-design-modifications-for-senior-living-spaces-litigation-reduction

Older adults find it hard to use the toilet, faucets, shower, and bathtub effectively and safely. Most of them have lost strength and mobility, so standing in a shower for a long time is not possible. It’s also risky to get in and out of a bathtub. Luckily, there is a range of modifications you can make to enhance senior safety in your facility. These include:

Modify the floors

The more consistent you can be with your senior living flooring, the safer your facility will be. Consistency limits the number of transitions which are often tripping hazards. Many seniors drag their fit or don’t lift them as much. So when you have transitions, it’s best to keep the height difference at a minimum, or when possible, level in all rooms.

assisted-living-nursing-home-senior-care-safety-fall-prevention-floor-modifications-trip-hazard-elimination

Remove, repair, or replace any lumps, bumps, breaks, saddles, transitions, holes, and other trip hazards, both inside the facility and in any outdoor spaces. Consider replacing multiple types of flooring indoors with one uniform type of nonskid flooring to reduce physical and visual transitions between rooms. You can also:

Widen doorways for accessibility

Sticky, narrow, or unwieldy doors make it hard for seniors to access the rooms, especially when using a wheelchair. They can impede mobility in the senior living facility and overall space access for seniors. So, if the aging parents in your facility have trouble accessing the room, you may want to make modifications to fix the doors. Here are some ideas:

Implement assistive technology for safer spaces

Seniors, especially those with disabilities, still need some form of independence even when staying in assisted homes. So you’ll need to make a range of accommodations, including the use of senior care technology. Assistive technology includes any tool or service used to increase, maintain and improve the functional capabilities of seniors.

assistive-technology-implemented-in-modifications-for-senior-living-homes-safety-first-health-and-wellness-WytCote-Technologies

Smart technology may include an amplification device to make sounds easy to hear, or something as simple as a walker to improve mobility. It could also be a magnifying glass for a senior adult with vision issues or a scooter that makes it possible to cover long distances. So, basically, assistive technology is anything that helps continued participation in daily activities. Here are some examples:

The goal of modifications for senior living facilities is to create safer rooms and spaces for all residents. It will also help protect you from any liabilities within the facility. But you’ll need an expert to help you with some modifications, including safe room design.

At Wytcote, we can help you design safe spaces that will set your facility apart from the rest. Contact us today to learn more.

Older Age & Coronavirus: Why Are Seniors At Risk?

People all over the world are worried about being infected with COVID-19. Statistics have shown that older adults aged 65 years and above are at a higher risk. The risk is even higher for older adults who live in care facilities since the rate of coronavirus transmission is much higher.

Note that by higher risk, we mean seniors are more likely to become critically ill and die due to COVID-19 infection. Although younger people can still catch COVID-19, their chances of hospitalization and death are much lower except in cases where the patient has health issues, e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Most young people have mild flu-like symptoms. Some don’t have any symptoms at all.

Young and older adults alike should take the necessary precautions to avoid catching COVID-19. SARS CoV-2 infections have serious symptoms that can lead to hospitalization or death.

This article discusses the relationship between old age and the coronavirus. We will look at the reasons why seniors are at risk and how to protect them against infection.

Why seniors are at a high risk

As mentioned before, seniors are likely to become critically ill or die due to COVID-19. These are the three main reasons why seniors are more vulnerable.

1. They have a weakened immune system.

As people grow older, their immune system weakens. This explains why seniors have harsher symptoms even when they catch a cold. Likewise, seniors will get sicker from COVID-19 since their immune system isn’t effective enough to fight off the virus. Therefore, they are at a higher risk of hospitalization and death.

2. Underlying health issues

Most seniors have underlying issues that healthcare practitioners consider risk factors. They include: lung disease, diabetes, and heart disease.

Additionally, seniors who have undergone treatment for renal failure, cancer, liver disease, and high blood pressure are at a high risk of getting infected with the coronavirus.

3. Stress

Even though they may have limited interaction with other people, the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic can be quite stressful for seniors. Additionally, since seniors are vulnerable, they are likely to become stressed over possible infections. Stress can harm seniors’ immune systems, which makes them even more vulnerable.

How to protect older adults

Since the COVID-19 case is still prevalent, there is a need for us to protect older adults. The best way to go about this is to minimize interaction as much as possible. Older adults should only leave their homes if it is very necessary. However, limited interaction in and of itself, can cause stress because staying active and entertained is important to their well-being.

Here are a few pointers on how you can protect seniors so that they remain healthy.

Take the necessary precautions

coronavirus-COVID-19-protections-for-senior-care-healthcare-industry

If you are a caregiver, you need to take the necessary precautions to avoid getting infected with the virus. These are some of the basic things you can do to stay safe:

 

Maintain social distance

Older adults have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Therefore, it would help if you lowered the risk by limiting your interaction with them.

Limiting interactions doesn’t necessarily mean that you keep them isolated. Remember that loneliness can harm older adults’ mental health and immunity. 

Check on them now and then without necessarily interacting with them through calls and social media.

Use technology to keep in touch

We all know that it can get rather lonely during this period. With minimized physical interactions, older adults will likely feel lonely. It would help if you taught them how to use technology to stay in touch. You can do this by:

 

Ensure they are vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccination plays a major role in reducing the risk of infection. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults above 65 years of age get the COVID-19 vaccine. A recent peer reviewed study revealed that older adults who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine have a 94% reduced risk of being hospitalized due to complications related to the coronavirus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 delta variant, spreads faster and causes more infections than the earlier variants. Those infected with the delta variant are at a higher risk of hospitalization and death.

Therefore, unvaccinated people should consider getting the vaccine as soon as possible. Fully vaccinated people are half as likely to contract the deadly delta variant. Additionally, they are less likely to infect other people.

Older adults should also consider getting booster shots to strengthen their immunity. This way, their immune system can more easily fight off infections.

coronavirus-COVID-19-vaccine-senior-care-nursing-home-assisted-living-residents-protection

 

Keep them occupied

It would be best to keep older adults entertained as they stay indoors. Buy them entertainment items like crossword books that will keep them occupied for an extended time. Stay away from board games since they involve a lot of contact. You could also keep them entertained with movies.

Monitor them for symptoms

It would be best if you always were on the lookout for any COVID-19 related symptoms. At the same time, tell seniors to inform you if they notice symptoms like shortness of breath, coughs, or fever. If they don’t have any symptoms, do not take them to the hospital. Minimize hospital visits as much as possible.

If the older adult has coronavirus symptoms, call a healthcare provider. Do not rush them to the ER unless the difficulty in breathing is severe. The healthcare provider will give you instructions on what to do next.

Conclusion

Seniors are at a higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus due to their weak immune systems, underlying conditions, and stress. Therefore, you must protect them at all times. Use the tips we have shared above to ensure that they stay healthy, happy, and entertained.

What is the Best Way to Order Medical Supplies for My Senior Community?

If you plan to order medical supplies for your senior care home, you’ll be faced with two choices. You’ll either buy your supplies online or buy them at a local medical supply store. Local stores are convenient and easily accessible. You can walk right in, order a product, check it out, and leave knowing it’s exactly what you need. However, buying online offers even greater benefits. For example, you will:

With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why many senior living homes are replacing a trip to the local drugstore with a click onto the internet. But despite the convenience and access, ordering medical supplies online can be challenging, even to the most experienced shopper. Here are some challenges that senior care homes encounter when they try to order medical supplies online.

how-to-order-medical-supplies-online-patient-needs-senior-care-procurement-for-assisted-living-facilities-in-home-healthcare

 

Not being able to try out the product

One of the greatest challenges senior care homes face when ordering medical supplies online is that they can’t try out the items. This can be tricky, especially when buying supplies and equipment like wheelchairs, mattresses, and cushions. For the most part, they don’t have the freedom to try a product, and return it if it doesn’t match the need.

Luckily, some stores have taken online shopping to the next level. They recreate a brick-and-mortar ambiance by integrating high-res images, product descriptions, specifications, and videos for a seamless customer experience. They also provide stellar customer service, ensuring you get what you were looking for, the first time – whether it’s surgical masks, an n95 respirator, or personal protective equipment (PPE).

Not knowing the right product for a medical condition

Older adults in a senior care home or memory care facility have different medical needs. Some will need standard supplies or equipment, while others more custom solutions to fit their unique medical needs. This can pose a challenge when ordering medical supplies online.

In this case, it’s beneficial to find online stores that can help you identify the right supplies. Work with a store that provides plenty of resources and guides on different products that your residents might need. The guides and walkthroughs will point you to getting the ideal product. You can also check out an online resource site like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that provides helpful information.

Problems selecting the right incontinence products

Many seniors struggle with incontinence issues, which make incontinence products a top priority for senior homes. But the problem is that it’s hard to tell the absorbency of a pad, diaper, or pull-ups via a computer. And the worst part is that incontinence products, once bought, cannot be returned. This can pose a challenge for senior facilities, seeing they buy these products in bulk. 

The best way around this is to work with an online store with an effective customer support service department. You can also try sites that have a free sample program. They send you various products to try out and decide which one has the best style and absorbency for your needs. 

Essential medical equipment for seniors

order-medical-supplies-for-senior-care-facilities-assisted-living-procurement-healthcare-industry

Senior living communities offer a range of medical supplies and equipment for their residents. But from time to time, seniors may need additional supplies to enhance their quality of life & increase customer satisfaction. Here are some types of essential medical equipment for seniors.

1.     Assistive equipment

Assistive equipment like grip bars in the bathroom and toilet risers are helpful to seniors because they protect them from falls and give them extra stability. Walkers, wheelchairs, and canes also let seniors continue being mobile as they age.

2.     Personal alert system

If a senior is living alone, they need a personal alert system that lets them contact emergency services if anything happens.

3.     Medication reminders

Reminders are essential because seniors take medication regularly. You can get an automated reminder or a simple pill counter online, depending on your budget.

4.     Hearing and vision aids

These aids help seniors remain aware of their surroundings. They are critical when the senior losses their sense of vision or hearing. Hearing and vision aids allow them to enjoy a higher quality of life.

Tips on shopping for medical supplies

best-way-to-order-medical-supplies-online-in-store-healthcare-senior-care-facilities

1. Talk to the patient’s doctor.

If you want to order medical supplies for older adults, you must talk to their doctor first. This is essential as you may need a doctor’s approval, especially when shopping for condition-specific equipment. Besides, the doctor may make recommendations on where to get the supplies you need. Most healthcare workers know the suppliers you need to reach out to and whether there are lower-cost options available.

2.     Consider using lending programs.

Local lending programs come in very handy when you can’t afford to buy an item outright or when you will only need a specific item for a short while. For instance, lending can suffice when a resident only needs a wheelchair for a short period after surgery. The programs allow you to hire medical equipment or supplies at a small fee, which is cost-effective. You will manage to acquire medical equipment and supplies that the elderly need at a lower cost.

3.     Keep the senior’s budget in mind.

Most seniors spend their savings on buying medical supplies. It is therefore essential to consider their budget before ordering for them. If they cannot pay for the supplies, you can seek assistance from non-profit organizations, missionary organizations, or healthcare foundations. Low payment plans also come in handy in managing the senior’s finances better.

4.     Check the technical aspects of the equipment

Consider technical aspects like the support a senior may need, height, weight, size, and accessories they prefer before you order medical supplies. For example, if you’re looking for a rollator or walker for an obese resident, you should ensure it will support their weight. Also, you want to check the hand brakes and grips and the height to avoid accidents. 

Conclusion

Self-dependence is very crucial for the well-being of seniors in a community. Choosing the right medical equipment encourages independent living and motivates them to get better. If you work in senior community service or senior living communities, you can empower older adults by giving them the best medical supplies. This way, they will regain their confidence, stay happy and healthy. 

What Can you Do to Help People in A Senior Living Community?

Many older adults prefer to age in place, even in cases where cognitive or physical decline makes it hard to live independently. According to one AARP survey, about 90% of US seniors wish to stay in their homes for as long as they can. Yet, the US Census data shows that most homes may not be designed to accommodate the needs of the seniors. The survey further adds that older homes have stepped entries, multi-story living, second-story bedrooms, hallways, etc., which make daily living a challenge. So, what can you do to help people in a senior living community?

Even though home care is ideal for many senior citizens, it is not always the best option for them or the family members who look after their health and wellbeing. This is especially true for seniors with medical needs or those in homes that aren’t equipped for it. 

help-people-in-a-senior-living-community-health-care-isolation-nursing-home

Senior living communities are a great alternative to home care. Some even offer additional care services while still allowing independent living. These facilities are excellent for the senior’s social life and make the transition easier down the road.

That said, it all boils down to what the seniors want or prefer. In this article, we will discuss some of the many ways you can help a senior citizen aging in place or living in a nursing home.

How to help people in a senior living community

As seniors grow older, they go through changes that affect every part of life. Many times, these changes prompt the need for extra care and assistance for seniors. So the seniors tend to become more dependent on other people to survive even against their wishes. They’ll depend on people for comfort, care, and support for survival and better quality of life.

Whether you are a professional nurse or caregiver, here is what you can do to help people in a senior living community.

Offer to get them around – at home and in town

senior-mobility-shuttle-service-taxi-socialization-elderly-mental-health-care-tech

For many seniors, quality of life involves maintaining independence, taking part in hobbies, and getting out into the world. But mobility problems can prevent them from all these and cause depression, isolation, and declining health. If the senior has severe mobility issues, you may want to:

Organize and manage their medication

Safely managing medication is critical for older adults. Most seniors take multiple drugs throughout the day. According to studies, 87% take one prescription medicine, while 36% take five or more.

Helping the seniors manage their medication prevents mix-ups and ensures they take medications correctly as prescribed by their healthcare professional. Here’s how to do it:

medication-management-senior-living-community-helath-care-prescription-drug-maintenance

Prepare proper nutrition

Many people struggle with getting one well-balanced meal on the table each day. But it’s even tougher for older adults since they can hardly move around. Adding to the problem is that many seniors deal with a range of chronic illnesses that can contribute to or be worsened by poor nutrition. Assistance programs like Meals on Wheels offer great help, but you can also do a few things to help them get proper nutrition.

Encourage them to socialize

Elder care also involves helping the seniors find friends and fun activities to break the boredom. If you are offering home care assistance, this means driving them to their friends or loved ones or taking them to fun places.

If it’s in a facility, then you can encourage them to join different social activities. Socializing can offer a range of mental and physical health benefits. According to CDC, loneliness and social isolation affect many seniors in the US, putting them at risk for dementia and other severe medical conditions.

Help them manage their money

money-financial-management-senior-care-helping-people-in-senior-living-community

Another great way to care for seniors in senior living communities is to help them with their finances. Many seniors struggle with keeping up with bills or accessing their mobile banking.

Others find health insurance forms confusing and could use a little help completing them. If you don’t have financial experience, you can help the senior get a referral from a reputable source. Your local area Agency on Aging is a great place to start.

Provide health care services

If you are a trained professional like a social worker, occupational therapist, or home health nurse, you can provide some health care services. For instance, you can prescribe medication, offer therapy and even offer bed baths. You can also hire professionals to help with things you’re not comfortable doing, like giving a bath and so on. But just be sure to check if the elder’s health insurance services will pay for it, or if it will be financed out-of-pocket.

Help with activities of daily living

Personal care includes any help with the activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, toilet/continence, meal preparations, eating, and transferring/ambulating. Most seniors who are unable to do such basic things might have a hard time accepting help. So you need to be understanding and reassuring to help them feel comfortable.

All of these things can greatly help people in a senior living community. Simply spending the time to ensure that their needs are met can go a long way in helping them feel comfortable and secure.

The Best Ways to Ensure Quality of Life to your Assisted Living Community

The benefits of assisted living services extend beyond activities of daily living. These homes open the world of opportunities and greater freedom for seniors. That’s why millions of families move their loved ones to these homes when home care is no longer a viable option.

As a service provider, you are always on the lookout for ways to enhance the level of care in the facility. This can pose a unique challenge because of varying needs of the elderly. But ensuring quality of life in your assisted living community doesn’t have to be complex. A few simple steps can help you deliver the best experiences to all the residents in your home.

The Best Ways to Improve Resident Care:

Address loneliness

quality-of-life-adressing-loneliness-for-senior-care-adequate-staffing-healthcare-tech

A study by the Brigham Young University found that loneliness can be as deadly as obesity or smoking. Senior isolation may encourage an unhealthy lifestyle, complicate the existing condition and affect cognition. It may also lead to higher cases of elder abuse as perpetrators take advantage of their isolation to scam, steal or injure them. Other studies show that Alzheimer’s almost doubles in lonely adults and that their mental decline was faster.

Going by these studies, addressing loneliness is one of the best things you can do in your senior living facility to ensure the quality of life. Great ways of preventing loneliness include:

·      Promoting social interaction

·      Encouraging a sense of purpose

·      Showing them that they are loved

·      Integrating physical activities like stair climbing, walking, and other age-appropriate workouts to keep the older adults in a solid mental, emotional and physical shape.

Hire enough staff

Staffing is one of the most tangible and crucial elements to ensure high-quality care. Everyone is happy when a facility has an adequate staff-to-resident ratio. But when the facility is understaffed, the team gets overwhelmed and becomes unwilling to offer assistance with activities of impaired adults. They may also become abusive out of their frustration. That’s why you need to hire adequate staff. But it's equally essential to onboard trained staff with a good grasp of residential care.

quality-of-life-assisted-living-homes-adequate-staffing-levels-healthcare-level-of-care

Embrace new technology

Seniors may have shied away from technology in the past, but not anymore. The baby boomer generation is now widely adopting technology to keep in touch with their loved ones, manage their finances, alert caregivers in case of an accident, etc. They are using laptops, phones, and smartwatches for daily interactions and other activities. There are many other technologies that you can embrace to ensure your assisted living residents have a better quality of life, these include:

Personalize rooms

Personalization is critical, especially in memory care homes. It helps staff know the residents, their preferences, family, and special memories of travel and a well-lived life. It is also vital in the case of residents suffering from conditions like expressive aphasia and dementia. Usually, these people can’t tell their own life stories so their possessions that represent their activities, achievements, and memories can communicate about their past.

For this reason, it is a good idea to allow residents to bring some of their unique and favorite belongings and items with them as they move into the care facility. These possessions will not only aid with care but also help the residents feel at home. In addition to this, you may want to customize the rooms to fit the needs of the residents. Since no single resident has the same need as the other, it pays to understand the needs of each one of them and modify their spaces accordingly. And don’t forget the outdoors and common spaces too. A few things you can do in this regard include:

Provide lots of fun, social opportunities

senior-care-mental-health-activities-dementia-elder-healthcare-assisted-living-home-technology

Spending time and maintaining relationships with others is essential to a senior’s mental and emotional well-being. It can prevent depression which is common with seniors. Studies by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 7 million adults in the US, 65 years and older suffer from depression each year. And while many aspects lead to depression, isolation and inactivity tend to be the biggest contributors.

Alzheimer’s Association recommends socialization to help seniors maintain brain activity. As such, providing lots of fun and social opportunities in your facility can be a great way to improve the level of care in your homes. Here are a few recommendations for social activities.

Make tidiness a priority

One of the main reasons seniors move from home care to assisted living is to get help with laundry and housekeeping. Providing stellar personal care services is essential, but ensuring that the rooms and surrounding area are in tip-top condition is also crucial. Assisted living homes always need to be clean to create a healthy environment for residents and caregivers. Hiring professional cleaning services can be a great way to ensure your facility stays clean. A clean facility offers plenty of benefits, including:

Emphasize providing quality meals and dining experience

Dining isn’t just an essential part of a senior’s social life in an assisted living community, it’s an important pleasure for them as well. Residents enjoy nice meals in a good dining setting. They also need well-balanced meals as part of their health care. When it comes to resident care, it is the simple things that matter, like eating what they want, when they want, and where they want.

While providing meals for the elderly, it’s vital to take note of their varying health needs. For instance, seniors with heart disease need to avoid processed meals and high-fat dairy products. Instead, they should eat high-quality proteins, healthy fats, colorful veggies and fruits, and low-fat dairy products. In addition to nutrition, you want to create an appealing dining atmosphere that makes residents eager and willing to enjoy their meals.

assisted-living-residents-enjoy-dining-room-personal-care-services-