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Strengthening family connections in senior care: the role of technology

Transitioning a loved one into a senior living community marks a new chapter filled with opportunities for growth and fulfillment. It's a time when older adults can develop new skills, pursue their passions in a new environment, and build friendships, all while receiving the expert care they need.

Yet, this decision isn’t always easy. With the role of caretaker shifting from the parent to the child, families find themselves faced with the difficult task of making decisions for those who once guided them through life's twists and turns. According to a 2019 study, over half of families admitted to struggling with guilt when considering such a transition. This decision is made harder when the older adults are apprehensive about the change themselves. A survey revealed that 45% of older adults expressed concerns that moving into a community may have a potentially negative impact on their mental and emotional health, while 34% feared a loss of independence. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions that not only aid seniors and their families in making a peaceful transition into a senior living community but also ensure they will thrive within it.

Technology drives connections

Senior living communities strive to provide excellent care and ensure families that their loved ones are flourishing. By fostering nurturing environments where seniors can maintain connections with their loved ones, pursue their passions, and engage with the world around them, these communities aim to transform the transition into senior care into a positive journey filled with peace of mind and joy for both families and residents. However, family trust can be hard to establish without consistent visibility into community life.

That's where technology steps in, acting as a direct window for families to witness both the exceptional care and vibrant life within their loved one’s community. Through communication tools and monitoring systems, technology not only offers peace of mind but also facilitates connection. Technology enables families to stay engaged in their loved one's care and life. As families become more involved in residents' day-to-day lives, residents also experience a greater sense of ease and satisfaction, leading to an extended length of stay.

 

Providing residents and families with technology solutions that allow them to stay connected and engaged with the world around them helps ease the transition into senior living by enhancing their quality of life.

 

Connected families make happy residents

The benefit of technology that keeps families connected isn’t merely in creating visibility; the real impact lies in how these connections truly enhance the lives of residents by reducing isolation, empowering independence, and keeping families actively engaged in their loved one’s day-to-day.

Connection reduces isolation

Maintaining connections with loved ones is a cornerstone of a happy life. Through virtual interactions like emails and texts, calls, photo sharing, or video messaging, individuals can significantly reduce feelings of isolation and depression by 33%. This is especially important for older adults wary of transitioning into a community, as they aim to safeguard their emotional and physical well-being. Given that older adults with depression face medical expenses 50% higher than those without, the importance of staying connected becomes even more apparent.

Connection encourages independence

One of the primary concerns seniors have when considering transitioning into a community is the fear of losing their independence. However, technology can provide residents with the essential support they need to remain independent and in control of their day, effectively eliminating this concern. Innovative solutions such as transportation and maintenance apps, scheduling apps, and on-demand content platforms empower residents with the independence they value. These technologies enable residents to keep up with maintenance requests and services easily, enhancing their sense of autonomy. Integrating tech solutions into community life offers residents luxuries that may not be readily affordable for seniors living at home, further enriching their independent living experience.

Connection promotes active engagement

Technology solutions can also provide families with convenient access to the information they need to remain actively engaged in their loved one’s lives, regardless of distance. For instance, automated digital reports offer real-time insights into their loved one’s daily activities, interventions, and care. In one LifeLoop community, resident engagement notably increased as families began encouraging participation after noticing low attendance rates in reports about their loved ones. According to Grace Faurote, Executive Director at Astral at Auburn, "By empowering families to actively encourage their loved ones' participation, LifeLoop bridges the gap between residents' established habits and the desire for communal engagement. The platform also facilitates communication by sending reminders of registered activities, effectively addressing the tendency for residents to remain in their rooms."

Another effective way to encourage active family engagement is through communication tools that facilitate easy sharing of messages and photos, as well as provide convenient access to community calendars. These tools equip families with the essential information needed to participate in community events and engage in meaningful conversations relevant to their loved one's life.

LifeLoop helps communities flourish

LifeLoop offers a suite of connection tools designed to foster stronger bonds between residents and their families, providing peace of mind for all involved. When residents feel secure and engaged in a vibrant community, and families have visibility and an active role in their loved one's lives, the community becomes more than just a place to live—it becomes home.

Our customer communities have reported an impressive 88% positive impact on occupancy, attributed to LifeLoop's ability to keep residents connected to their loved ones and the world around them.

Community staff affirm that LifeLoop helps build connections that enhance the quality of resident life:

  • 94% report a reduction in loneliness.
  • 97% note faster and easier communication with families.
  • 46% observed a decrease in feelings of anxiety among residents.
  • 54% acknowledge a reduction in feelings of depression among residents.

Empowering connections with technology

Technology plays a key role in relieving the stress that comes with transitioning loved ones into senior living communities. It keeps seniors connected to their loved ones and the wider world, giving them a sense of independence and freedom. With tools like LifeLoop, families can actively engage in their loved one's care, ensuring they don't miss out on important moments and maintaining their connections. These strong connections, made possible by technology, help residents feel happier and more at home in their communities, no matter how close or how far away their families may be.

Interested in increasing family engagement in your community? Contact us to schedule a demo to see LifeLoop's powerful family connections tools in action.

 

Want to learn how LifeLoop communities are optimizing their operations?

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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