Senior care executives have noticed how well-designed technology can benefit residents, staff, and families. However, implementing seniors technology is a bit different than rolling out technology based applications and programs for millennials. While Boomers are more tech-savvy than their predecessors, technology can still be overwhelming or underused for their generation. Eager to learn but often lacking the background experience with apps and social media interfaces, Boomers need extra direction in order to get the most benefit from senior care community technology initiatives.
How can senior communities bring technology assistance into the community without taxing the already overworked staff? The answer, perhaps, lies in the specialized position of Technology Educator.
What is a Technology Educator?
In essence, a Technology Educator is much more than another IT person. Instead, a Technology Educator serves, empowers, and informs residents about technology available in and around the community. Equal parts IT specialist and resident relations, the Technology Educator engages with residents daily.
What are sample responsibilities of a Technology Educator?
While a Technology Educator can look different from community to community, the position does have some general responsibilities at the community. The Technology Educator plans and executes a variety of daily and weekly workshops, where residents are able to stop in for a lesson on everything from setting up email to starting their own blog. The Technology Educator would be responsible for assessing residents based on experience and interests and setting them up for classes that might interest them.
The Technology Educator would also be in charge of distributing community devices to residents, such as tablets and laptops. The position would also be responsible for having office hours where residents could drop in to get individualized attention for their specific technology questions or concerns. This position could be responsible for maintaining connection with application portals or community-wide information distribution.
Finally, the Technology Educator would be a key component in family relations by hosting regular courses on how to connect with their loved ones and connecting family members via video calls for care conferences. This could lead to more informed, engaged, and satisfied family members.
What are the benefits of a Technology Educator?
Having a full-time Technology Educator can pay off for residents, families, and even the bottom line at a community. Residents are learning and practicing new skills, which can lead to feelings of empowerment and even cognitive gains. Further, residents who are able to connect with the greater community via social media or other technology opportunities can feel more engaged and happy. A Technology Educator assures that the technology available to residents is accessible, easy, and ongoing.
Families can feel more engaged with what is happening inside of the community, as well as with their loved one. This feeling of engagement and communication can assist in building a trusting relationship between the family and the community; this relationship can help communities to close the back door and end move-outs due to dissatisfaction.
A Technology Educator is a specialized position that is sure to be a staple in senior living communities over the next five years. How are you preparing your community to be the first to offer this service?