In its third year, iN2L’s annual survey of senior living leaders reveals engagement technology is more important than ever
Denver, CO – March 30, 2022 – In a report issued today by iN2L, the leading provider of person-centered digital engagement to the senior living market, the recorded importance of senior living technology among industry leaders increased for the third straight year.
“Senior Living 2022: The State of Engagement and Technology” represents iN2L’s third installment of its annual investigation into trends regarding the adoption, state, and impact of technology upon resident engagement within senior living communities. The report series is designed to track the senior living industry’s challenges and strategic priorities, its increasing adoption and use of engagement technology, and the myriad ways that technology can drive innovations that enrich the aging experience. The findings help iN2L prioritize enhancements to support community life by enhancing resident satisfaction and well-being.
The report highlights the industry’s incredible resiliency through the pandemic, and showcases how engagement technology has emerged as a means of connecting residents with the wider world – with loved ones, each other, and with a broad array of personal interests, enrichment activities, and new hobbies. For the first time, the report includes additional survey questions that seek to explore how the pandemic changed both strategic priorities and everyday life. An entirely new section explores the widespread impact of staffing shortages, and how engagement technology can help fill gaps, support the existing workforce, and combat pandemic-driven loneliness to spark engagement, increase personalization, and build camaraderie.
“As a survey of senior living leadership sentiment and community priorities, this report acts as an annual barometer for our mission,” said Lisa Taylor, CEO of iN2L. “This year, we are hearing loud and clear that leaders fully believe engagement technology has evolved from a ‘nice to have’ to ‘table stakes.’ We know that communities are looking to leverage technology in new ways to support today’s critical challenges around staffing and occupancy rates. These times have provided valuable, if painful, lessons learned and all of us who work to support these communities are prepared to build on the knowledge gained to foster a higher level of resident satisfaction and well-being.”
This year’s report covers a range of topics, from the increasing importance of engagement technology and its ROI, to its ability to engage residents and address strategic priorities. Notable report takeaways are as follows:
- The value of engagement technology is clear. 86% of leaders with technology in place report that it is either “very” or “extremely important,” which represents a 10% increase year over year. 65% of leaders report that engagement technology delivers a “clear ROI.”
- Technology dramatically accelerates an ability to engage. 93% of communities that leverage engagement technology report a positive ability to engage residents, as compared to only 81% of organizations without specialized technology in place.
- Engagement tech is “table stakes.” More than 80% of executives believe that senior engagement technology provides unique benefits and experiences that help set their community apart.
- Among senior living executives, engagement technology continues to grow in esteem. Of the 2021 respondents who leverage engagement technology, 98% believe it is at least moderately important, an 8% increase from last year’s report and a 16% increase from the 2019 report.
- COVID-19 forever changed the way communities function. 60% of communities report being “less” or “much less able” to engage residents today, as compared to before the pandemic. Respondents note that engagement technology can help – 42% note it can “deliver personalized care” and 24% note it helps foster resident satisfaction and well-being.
- The pandemic has further worsened the industry’s ongoing staffing shortage. While 90% of leaders report staffing shortages or retention challenges, over 78% of them note that these issues have worsened due to the pandemic.
- Workforce challenges are having an impact on the quality of care provided. When asked whether the shortages have limited staff’s ability to provide personalized care to residents, three-quarters (76%) of respondents said yes.
Download the full results here.
This is the third installment of an annual series of investigations into the current adoption, state, and impact of technology upon resident engagement within senior living communities. In December 2021, iN2L commissioned Sage Growth Partners, a healthcare consultancy, to conduct a third-party survey of 111 senior living community leaders across various functional areas. This was a follow-up to two previous surveys: the first of which was conducted in March 2019 among 114 senior living community leaders, and again in June 2020, when a similar audience of community leaders received an identical questionnaire. To preserve continuity and follow trends across the previous two reports, the same questions were asked. Two additional sections expand this year’s report: one with a focus on pandemic-era staffing challenges and another on the future role of technology within the aging experience.
As the market leader in content-driven engagement for seniors, iN2L has been creating possibilities, enjoyment, and connection for older adults since 1999. iN2L’s expansive content library promotes wellness, empowerment, and engagement among older adults and is the foundation for activities that facilitate social interaction, cognitive and physical exercise and therapy, education, reminiscing, areas of interest, and memory support engagement. iN2L is a critical part of the resident experience in more than 3,700 nursing homes, assisted and independent living communities, memory care settings, and adult day programs across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit iN2L.com.