Throughout their lives, baby boomers have been known for changing norms and revolutionizing the world. That will continue to be in their expectations for senior living. More than 10,000 baby boomers are flooding into retirement daily, and ultimately into senior living at some place in the senior care spectrum. They are accustomed to using technology to their benefit, and they will be expecting quality services that include all that information technology (IT) has to offer.
Senior living organizations that don’t keep up with these changes will face negative market implications, and won’t be in a position to survive in an increasingly competitive senior care environment. Senior living communities that recognize the importance of preparing for the baby boomers will require the infrastructure to support the technology that boomers are expecting from their senior living experience. Boomers anticipate they will be involved in their own care through the use of software applications. They will want to extensively use the Internet for social media, and they expect their personal care to be augmented with all the technology currently available.
Without the proper IT infrastructure, senior living communities will be left behind, and they will be unable to meet the regulatory and consumer requirements of the coming years. Proper infrastructure will allow senior living homes to keep records safe and exchange data with healthcare partners, which in turn will allow them to support care technology needs and offer residents the highest possible quality of life. In short, infrastructure is the glue that holds IT services and resident satisfaction in place.
Infrastructure that includes the right hardware, software, network, and people to run the IT will prove essential to gaining resident satisfaction. The right infrastructure will:
1. Improve Quality of Life
2. Advance Quality of Care
3. Increase Length-of-Stay
4. Prevent Negative Health Events from Illnesses or Falls
IT infrastructure will also determine whether a community can provide the right bandwidth to address all the residents’ social media and online needs. The right information technology helps a senior community expand its service continuum by providing the technology that supports care, from independent living to hospice care. Infrastructure also allows a community to expand the number of residents it can support with its technology.
More importantly, the right infrastructure will allow residents to age in place at lower levels of care for longer—as opposed to being moved across the care continuum in response to, or anticipation of, a negative health event. Why? Because the right IT infrastructure is an essential prerequisite to employing remote monitoring or other health alert systems that can keep residents healthier and safer for longer.
The right hardware and software for a given type of senior living community or average resident acuity level is vital to quality of care. Residents who are independent, for example, will want personal wellness apps and plenty of Internet access. Those in assisted living and memory care will benefit from remote monitoring. But regardless of the level of care or amenity, being able to provide technological necessities means also having the IT infrastructure to support them.
To learn more about the infrastructure your community needs in order to support tomorrow’s seniors, download the Checklist: Building the IT Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s Senior Living Communities.