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Senior Housing > Blog > 2017 > April

How SNFs Can Better Manage Aging Residents

On average, the age of senior housing residents is on the rise, which means SNFs must adjust in order to provide them with the care they need. Reports indicate that over the last decade the average age of nursing home residents has increased, which means that more residents in these facilities are living with chronic conditions. Putting two and two together, this means it is more imperative than ever before that senior living facilities have the resources and wellness programs in place in order to meet resident needs. It is of the utmost important that SNFs focus on providing residents of all ages and health the highest quality of care possible.

According to the report mentioned above, nursing home residents of two have on average two or three chronic conditions and those over the age of 85 are at a much higher risk of falling compared to younger residents. In order for senior living communities to continue to care for these residents and provide them with everything they need in order to live comfortably and maintain their health, they must work to embrace a personalized community health model. This means that assisted living staff members should be undergo specialized training on a regular basis in order to provide sufficient care to residents, and it should be a priority for staff members, providers, and volunteers to work with one another to meet the demands of aging residents.

One of the first steps SNFs can take is to sit down and look at their overall health and wellness programs and policies. In doing so they will get a clear picture of what it is like to be a resident at their facility. This will also provide insight into which areas they excel in, and which could use a little TLC. While many assisted living facilities are turning their focus to health and wellness programs, it shouldn’t stop there. Providers and nursing staff alike must be reminded that residents are getting older, and with age comes more health concerns and chronic conditions that need to be addressed. This is why customization is imperative. SNFs that implement chronic disease management plans, physical therapy, and use technology to track resident wellness are in far better shape to care for these residents. To learn more about this, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group today.

The Role of Telehealth for Senior Living Providers

It is common knowledge that technology has the power to transform the senior housing industry, but how, exactly? As we discussed a couple weeks ago, technology is playing an integral role in promoting wellness in senior living, as there are numerous opportunities for SNFs to track patient wellness and ensure they are receiving the care and attention they need in a much more controlled manner. Along these same lines, telehealth is becoming increasingly important to the industry. Many healthcare providers indicate they are turning to telehealth to track patients remotely with the intention of improving overall care quality.

In recent years senior living care standards have been called into question – forcing providers to take a more in-depth look at their practices and what needs to change. As senior living demographics continue to change, facilities must adjust and take the time to truly understand what needs to be done in order to improve patient wellness and cater to their growing demands. According to a recent report, improving quality care in senior living environments is the number one influencer behind the adoption of telehealth within the industry.

The Current State of Telehealth in Senior Housing

There have been a handful of important changes that are impacting the need for providers to embrace telehealth – including changing Medicare models, new payment programs, and the need for remote patient monitoring. By expanding the use of telehealth services, everyone from small to large SNFs will be far more prepared for the influx of patients and the changing landscape of our society in general. It is imperative for senior housing communities to stay one step ahead of what’s to come – which means recognizing the role of telehealth in maintaining or improving upon quality care in these types of settings.

More and more people are using apps, online resources, and fitness tracking modalities to create a more personalized care strategy. Thanks to technology and the digital transformation of all industries, we are seeing an increased awareness of the level of care provided to residents. Senior living communities across the country have begun using more integrated emergency response system, resident call systems, and customer relationship management tools in order to improve resident experience and the quality of care provided. A recent poll showed that integrated fitness systems were one of the highest priorities of senior living operators, which should come as no surprise based on our discussion today. We only expect this trend to continue, which is why it is important to pay attention to telehealth opportunities. However, it is important to understand the why behind technology within the senior living landscape – as simply adopting technology in this setting ‘just because’ may not be the best approach. For more on telehealth and remote patient services, please do not hesitate to contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Senior Housing Group.

Report: Active SNF Residents on the Rise

Over the last several weeks we have been discussing wellness in senior living communities and how new programs are aiming to improve resident’s overall quality of life and happiness. Building upon this, a new report shows that residents who are active and make an effort to participate in various activities have a much greater chance of enjoying their time in long-term care. For many, the very idea of entering into a senior living facility is daunting – and even depressing. However, the new face of senior housing is working hard to combat this, instead making senior living communities an attractive and viable option for those entering into the later years in their life.

As we have talked about in our past blog posts, more and more senior living communities are catering to resident needs and interests. Technology is more prevalent than ever before, enhancing each individual’s long-term care experience and providing an extra level of comfort and ease. Not only do many senior residents have smartphones, laptops, and tablets, but they are requiring more specialized care and care more about their health and wellness than many past generations. Thanks to wearable devices, apps, and other programs, residents and nursing home staff members alike are able to better manage their health and make adjustments accordingly. In years past nursing home staff members and senior living providers found it somewhat difficult to encourage residents to exercise and engage. However, this is no longer the case. According to the aforementioned survey, residents are becoming much more accustomed to – and interested in – common activities that improve their mood, attitude, and health. Some of the activities we are seeing in senior housing communities all over the country include social hour with friends, family, and other residents, talking to the staff about things other than their care, receiving and giving hugs, and using technology to get some exercise.

As technology continues to play a role and we see the needs and interests of residents continue to evolve, we expect SNFs to adjust to meet these needs and ensure residents are receiving the care they deserve. For more information on this, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group.

How Technology Is Promoting Wellness in Senior Living

Let’s face it – technology is everywhere. Not only are we more reliant on technological devices than ever before (from smartphones and laptops to smartwatches, tablets, and home entertainment systems) but we are seeing technology make its way into our schools and senior living communities. While past generations often stood their ground and refused to ‘change with the times’ by sticking to using a typewriter instead of the much easier computer, this is no longer the case. Baby Boomers and other generations have quickly become fascinated by electronics – reports indicate that more than 60% of Baby Boomers (adults born between 1946 and 1964) own smartphones, compared to 83% of Gen Xers and 90 % of Millennials. So, what does this have to do with senior living?

For starters, many senior living communities are recognizing this trend and making adjustments in order to cater to the tech-savvy resident. Nursing homes and other assisted living facilities are more commonly equipped with wi-fi capabilities, house technology rooms, virtual reality experiences, and encourage their residents to use these devices in order to better manage their health and wellness; which leads us to our next point. Technology in senior housing is becoming a huge component to promoting wellness and supporting the “whole person wellness” concept that we discussed a few weeks ago.

How Technology is Changing Resident Experience

We are seeing senior living communities all over the country begin to embrace the idea of technology and how it can play a role in a facility’s wellness program and beyond. Not only are senior living providers implementing tech in innovative ways, but they are using it to track the health and wellness of residents, as well as their overall happiness and mood. Furthermore, tech is being viewed as an instrumental tool to promote connectivity and foster engagement among residents. When it comes to the wellness of a resident, it is important to look at the importance of physical health as well as mental and emotional health. Thanks to wearable devices and other types of tech, facilities are able to provide residents with personalized health, fitness, and wellness plans that they can easily track. Not only do these wearable devices help caregivers and nursing home staff provide higher levels of care that is customized to each resident, but they are also supporting residents in a unique and effective manner.

Residents in forward-thinking facilities all across the country are faced with a far more tailored and personal experience when they enter into a senior living community. Gone are the days of cafeteria-style meals and residents sitting in their chairs, staring longingly out the window. Senior living residents of today are active, engaging, and supported with wearable devices and other forms of technology that not only enhance their overall quality of life, but their health and wellness, too. To learn more about the current trends we are seeing in senior living, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group today.