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Senior Housing > Blog > 2017 > November

How Disruption and Innovation are Impacting Senior Living Providers

Just last week we discussed the role of AI in senior living and how it is helping providers offer more personalized, immediate care to residents. With the introduction of artificial intelligence, big data, and technology in general to the senior housing industry, there are numerous things we must pay attention to.

Senior living providers, for one, must stay on top of the latest trends and make sure they act fast, or get left behind. Experts believe the senior housing industry is heading towards a period of “disruptive innovation”, which is a trend that has impacted many other industries in a major way. If senior living providers aren’t careful and don’t take this period of disruption seriously, they could easily get left behind. In a nutshell, disruptive innovation refers to when an idea comes in and well, disrupts your business. In many cases this disruption seemingly comes out of thin air, making it difficult to prepare for and know how to properly deal with. Luckily for the senior housing industry, we know it’s coming.

Big Changes Coming to Senior Housing

We live in an interesting world right now, especially in regards to how technology is changing the way we think, communicate, and operate in general. Right now the majority of senior living providers understand they must either jump on board and embrace innovation, or get left behind and risk falling into obsolescence. As the dynamic and expectations among senior living residents continues to change with the next generation, providers must find new ways to meet resident needs and attract potential residents. This is a new kind of customer, if you will, that will likely not be satisfied by older operations.

Not only do senior living providers need to change the way they provide care for residents, but the terminology is also different. Today’s Baby Boomers and other older generations are much younger feeling – and looking, for that matter – and long-term care facilities must adapt. Baby Boomers will likely scoff at facilities that use the terms “aging” or “senior” in their names. This means that senior living providers also need to change their marketing tactics and learn how to position themselves as a different, more forward-thinking facility.

To put it bluntly, providers have gotten away with relying on tactics that have been around for many, many years to attract residents, but this will no longer fly. With disruption on the cusp of taking over and technology starting to play an instrumental role within the senior living industry, providers must adapt and learn how to step one step ahead of the curve.

For more information on how these trends are impacting senior living providers, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group today.

 

Using AI to Identify Memory Care Conditions in Senior Living

Tech giant IBM and the University of California – San Diego recently announced a monumental partnership that will bring artificial intelligence (AI) to the senior living industry. In an essence, the two will work together to create big data and AI solutions to help senior living communities adapting to incoming residents. As we’ve discussed at length in the past, senior housing residents of today are changing – entering into these communities at a younger age and with new expectations. This is due to many factors, namely the prevalence of technology and how it has completely changed not only the way we interact with one another, but how we are able to provide and monitor care.

The partnership between IBM and the University of California was made official at the end of September and aims to “enhance the quality of life and independence of aging populations through the establishment of a new center: the Artificial Intelligence for Healthy Living Center at U.C. San Diego” (Senior Housing News). The center’s team will focus on identifying early signs of many life-changing memory conditions, including dementia and Alzheimer’s. Dementia is one of the most common conditions people in their senior years face, and unfortunately we still do not have a lot of information on who is susceptible and what can be done to treat it. The initiative between IBM and U.C. San Diego is huge in that it will work to delay Alzheimer’s and other devastating memory conditions from affecting residents.

What This Means for the Future of Senior Living

Through research and the use of big data and AI, the team will have the tools and resources to identify cognitive solutions to help senior living residents at risk of developing dementia. According to statistics, by 2050 two billion people in the world will be over the age of 60. With this comes numerous serious implications, including an increase in the number of people at risk of developing dementia. This is just one reason why this partnership is such a big deal right now. Not only will the research team look at past trends and use data and AI, but they will monitor participants 24/7 and keep track of their daily activities and overall health and wellness, including memory, wisdom, and resilience.

As senior living communities continue to change and adapt to this new generation of residents, it is imperative we are doing what we can to provide them with the highest level of care. The motivation behind projects like the one mentioned today is to help our senior population live independently for as long as they can. People are oftentimes forced to move into a skilled nursing facility (SNF) because of loss of cognitive function, even in its mildest form. If we are able to better understand why these conditions form and how to prevent them, we will be able to help people live a happier, healthier, independent life. We will be keeping a close eye on this project and update you as it progresses. To learn more about trends in senior living or if you are interested in investing in an assisted living facility, please do not hesitate to contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group today.

Understanding the Role of Nutrition in Senior Living

One of the main contributing factors to seniors entering – and re-entering – long-term care facilities is diet and nutrition. In fact, malnutrition is a growing problem that affects hundreds of thousands of seniors every day and is the number one cause of readmission to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). However, recent studies have shown that facilities that make nutrition a top priority have improved prognoses and better patient outcomes. SNFs that make nutrition a top priority are not only likely to have healthier patients under their care, but happier ones, too. This is why personalized care is such an important component of running a successful and profitable assisted living facility. It is imperative that senior living providers and their staff take the time to optimize the nutrition of their residents and ensure they are getting the care and attention they need.

Why This Matters

According to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, U.S. states that have a high number of malnourished patients have 50% higher  readmission rates within 30 days than states that make nutrition a priority. This is especially the case when it comes to seniors with cancer. For sick residents, nutrition is key to being strong enough to ensure cancer treatment options, such as chemotherapy and radiology. Seniors who are unhealthy and malnourished have a much higher chance of succumbing to their illness, instead of beating it.

This is why it is so important for SNF staff members to be educated on the signs and symptoms of malnutrition. In many cases, seniors come to assisted living facilities in a certain state and the staff has little to no prior knowledge of what they have been going through. Some residents have been on their own for quite awhile and unable to properly care for themselves, whereas others were neglected by caregivers or even loved ones. When a residents comes to your facility and appears weak, shows signs of weight loss, and is emotionally and mentally deprived, they may be malnourished.

The most important way to reduce readmission rates because of malnutrition is take a customized, focused approach to each and every resident. As the senior living industry continues to shift and adapt, it is imperative staff and SNF providers understand some of the most common ailments impacting their residents. While many seniors enter long-term care facilities because of age or conditions that cannot be helped, a large majority of them are malnourished and simply need to be supported and cared for in order to get back on their feet and moved into an independent living facility. If you would like to learn more about why nutrition is so important in senior living or are looking for investment opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group.