Argentum is the leading national association dedicated to bringing together companies that work within the senior living care community in order to share ideas to help senior living reach its full potential. Their mission is to promote choice, dignity, independence, and quality of life for seniors, which is increasingly important as seniors begin to make up more and more of the population.
Recently some of the Status Solutions team attended the Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference where the nation’s top senior living executives gather to discuss the latest innovations and solutions to running better senior living communities and businesses. A number of topics were highlighted at the conference, such as social isolation, integration, intergenerational engagement and employee retention.
Social Isolation among residents continues to rise among residents and senior living communities are feverishly seeking a solution. Residents often feel disconnected upon moving into a senior living community, this affects more people than we may think. A University of California San Francisco study found that 43% of older adults reported feeling lonely. The same study found that those adults had a greater risk of health decline or death, highlighting the critical link between loneliness and health. Fortunately there are ways we can help residents make connections and improve their quality of life by implementing communication and self-service technology such as CATIE. With CATIE we can bring independence and information right to the residents’ fingertips. For instance, residents are able to view and sign up for all of the upcoming daily/weekly activities, events, and meals. They can easily communicate with friends, family and loved ones outside of the community, as well as those within. By giving residents these resources, to obtain information and communicate with others, senior living communities can increase resident engagement and ultimately improve quality of life.
The senior living industry is always rapidly changing and that won’t be changing anytime soon due to the growing number of seniors. Because of this, senior living and care facilities will need to prepare for the challenge of taking care of more residents and staff. At Argentum there was discussion around how to prepare for this influx and one way to do so is a commitment to intergenerational engagement programming; a solution that is beneficial to both the staff and the residents. Senior living communities can work with local schools to offer intergenerational engagement programming. The younger generation is well versed in the language of technology, this can be leverage to teach residents how to use social media, take a picture or even how to use CATIE. Communities that offer intergenerational programming offer their residents a greater quality of life -- decreasing social isolation and increasing individuals' sense of belonging, self-esteem and well-being. It’s important to stay up to date because the senior living industry will continue to change due to the increased knowledge of technology amongst incoming residents. Today over 50% of adults use the internet and 69% own a cell phone and as they age they’ll continue to keep up with technology.
Our team had a great time at the Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference and we are excited to continue as a part of this innovative community.
SourcesZickuhr, Kathryn, and Mary Madden. “Older Adults and Internet Use.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center, 6 June 2012, www.pewinternet.org/2012/06/06/older-adults-and-internet-use/.