Are you underestimating your residents thirst for technology?
By Gary McMullen
I recently did a road trip to visit prospects and clients in the Carolina’s. An awesome road trip spanning almost 1000 miles. On my journey I met with many outstanding food service professionals and other managers in senior living.
Naturally, we discussed point of sale technology and meal/spending plan management including our soon to be released “Resident Mobile App” which allows residents to manage their account(s), review menu offerings for the week, and order food for pick up or delivery.
The mobile app was viewed as “impressive”, however some of the responses included the phrase; “Not many of our residents have smart devices”.
First, let me remind you it’s 2018.
Second, in retirement I would not feel the need or desire to carry a smart phone or tablet so that I could be available 24/7 and be inundated with junk mail, scrolling ads or nuisance phone calls.
However, give me an application that enhances my quality of life and safety, keeps me in touch with community friends and activities as well as my immediate family outside the community in a very private manner (No Ads) I’d be all over it. In fact I would demand it!
My last stop in North Carolina was with K4 Connect in Raleigh. In their office they have created a model retirement suite consisting of a living room, bedroom and bathroom. When we entered the suite, the lights went on. No big deal, a simple motion sensor. Then Chris Romick (my host for the afternoon) went to the K4 tablet and turned of 1 light and dimmed the other. Magic! He then used the K4 app to turn on his favorite TV show and set the suite temperature to his desired level.
With the environment set, Chris demonstrated, the activities list and sign up, surveys, communications (Chat or video), maintenance requests and a host of resident safety features. Magic? No! Current, available technology.
Before leaving K4’s office we outlined our planned CARDWATCH interface to K4. Residents can review their account balances and review transactions in summary or detail. We also discussed initiating a survey based on recent transactions.
I realize your current methods work, though they are labor intensive, lack immediate feedback and metrics.
From your resident’s perspective, if they discover this level of technology before you bring it to them, they just might move.