Technology and the Human Connection in Senior Living

By Hallie Fisher:  Technology has been making our lives more convenient for decades, and nothing has highlighted this reality more than the pandemic. It is now the norm to have groceries and gourmet food delivered to your door, meetings and summits are taking place virtually, and education will likely not take place in-person for many months.

 While these advances are keeping us healthier and safer, some seniors are missing out on much-needed human connection. This could easily be remedied for seniors living in senior living facilities, with small, cost-efficient changes. Senior living facilities should ensure their technology capabilities are in top shape, and should make helping seniors utilize the latest technology a priority. This could easily be worked into wellness and entertainment initiatives. Staff members should be trained to help residents use technology (like video calling) to stay in touch with family, and events (movie nights, bingo, etc.) should move to a virtual platform if they haven’t already. Although the end of the pandemic will bring with it a resurgence of in-person socialization, we can expect many of the changes we’ve seen during the pandemic to persevere, especially video conferencing. Prioritizing technology for seniors will only continue to get more important.

It will be simple for many senior living facilities to capitalize on improving technology, as many facilities are already equipped with high-speed internet and infrastructure needed to allow residents to use the latest technology. Marketing facilities as places where seniors can get assistance with the technology that can keep them connected and enhance their lives will make facilities more attractive to seniors (or their families) who are on the fence about moving (or moving a loved one) into a senior living facility.

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