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Optimizing resident engagement with data-driven solutions

Resident engagement is one of the most critical indicators of a senior living community’s health. When residents are engaged—participating in activities, and connecting with each other, staff and families—they feel more satisfied. In a time when 34% of adults aged 50–80 report feeling isolated from others, it’s essential that senior living communities foster an environment where residents are actively engaged.

In our 2024 Senior Living and Technology Report, we found that senior living operators are less concerned about engagement levels than in prior years, with 88% of respondents reporting that they’re confident in their organizations’ ability to engage their residents. Despite this high confidence level, just 49% of respondents are measuring engagement, and only 52% have an engagement solution in place.

As any data-driven senior living operator knows, what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get managed. In order to foster a highly engaged community, it’s important to first accurately measure resident engagement levels to identify areas for improvement, and to consistently monitor engagement in order to proactively address any downturns.

Measuring resident engagement

Senior living engagement can be measured based on several factors: activity programming, event and meal attendance, and connections with family members, staff, and other residents. An optimal engagement measurement system consolidates multiple insights into a single place, in order to provide a holistic perspective of each resident’s engagement in a snapshot as well as over time. 

For instance, rather than having a separate solution for communication, calendar management, and content, the ability to have all these engagement tools consolidated into one platform can provide operators a clear window into each resident’s involvement and overall wellness. And, when staff are able to track resident participation in activities within the platform, that data can then be funneled into engagement reporting to provide actionable intelligence.

A proper engagement measurement solution should also take into account leading indicators such as activity attendance. Moreover, it should help operators flag when a resident’s engagement declines. In this way they can better assess the cause of disengagement, whether it’s health related, situational, or program-related, and gather feedback to improve the resident’s experience. 

Opportunities for engagement optimization

Once operators have an accurate benchmark of their community’s engagement levels, they can better identify opportunities for improvement.

One of the biggest opportunities–and challenges–of senior resident engagement is providing personalized programming. Residents have a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities, as well as unique personal preferences. If programming doesn’t meet them where they are, residents risk becoming disengaged.senior living group engagement

Creating customized programming is time-consuming, requiring activity professionals to put in long hours ideating, planning, and sourcing content. Because they’re already busy interacting with residents during the day, program planning often requires that activity professionals work overtime, which can lead to burnout and high turnover. Content solutions like LifeLoop make it easy to plan person-centered programs and engage residents from any device, freeing up staff to engage in rewarding activities like interacting directly with residents.

It’s also important to have engagement technology that is scalable and comprehensive, designed to cater to various care settings including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing facilities. In communities where residents can transition to a different level of care, that transition is made easier by continuing to use the same software. And for senior living organizations with multiple properties, having software that can be adopted across various communities can also reduce administrative burden and promote operational consistency.

Another key opportunity is presented during the onboarding of residents and their families to engagement systems when they join a community. Residents and families want to be engaged, but may be unaware of how to sign up for events or use technology to connect with each other and the broader community. A thoughtful and intentional approach that personalizes this experience for residents provides a sure path to stronger engagement from the beginning. 

The future of senior living engagement

The right resident engagement platform should give senior living operators not only the infrastructure to measure current engagement levels, but integrate all aspects of resident life so that engagement can be optimized without adding administrative burden.

In our same Tech Report, we found that the biggest issue for senior living operators is staff retention. Having the right technology in place to make it easy to engage residents and proactively optimize their experience can have a critical impact on staff satisfaction and retention long-term.

Senior Living Technology Report

Download our 2024 Report: The state of senior living and technology to discover the biggest opportunities senior living leaders should take advantage of today.
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Looking to the future, AI will play a role in how communities are able to deliver personalized programming. While only 9% of Tech Report respondents note using a solution that incorporates AI, 34% plan to use AI in the near future. And we expect this number to only grow. Having a resident engagement technology partner that is forward-thinking will be critical for senior living communities that prioritize innovative engagement solutions.

Want to learn how LifeLoop communities are enhancing their resident experiences?

Join us for our Flourishing Communities webinar series. Tune in to the live webinars to hear directly from senior living community leaders on how they implemented LifeLoop solutions (iN2L content and the LifeLoop operations platform) to enhance the resident experience, improve the staff experience, and create stronger family connections. 

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