As restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic continue, senior care facilities are beginning to use technology to improve residents’ daily lives. Technology can be used to strengthen safety measures within nursing homes while also increasing community wide visibility, wellness offerings for residents and team productivity for staff., according to a report by K4Connect, “K4Connect Fall 2021 Insights Report: How Technology Accelerates and Supports Resident Safety, Wellness and Satisfaction.”
Slips, trips and falls are among the largest concerns for residents and staff because many physical activities and social opportunities were canceled after March 2020. The research found that decreased activity and social isolation can be linked to worsening physical condition and mobility, increasing the risk of falling. Residents have also taken notice of these changes. At least 59 percent of respondents said they were concerned with falling. Meanwhile, falling at night is 190 percent more of a concern than during the day, according to the report.
Technology within homes can create safer living spaces by easing mobility. For example, voice technology such as Amazon Alexa allows residents to turn on lights or adjust thermostats without having to get up.
But not everyone is willing to use the technology just yet. Nearly 25 percent of respondents said they were not willing to have detection devices installed within their living quarters, while one-third of respondents said they were somewhat willing.
Nearly 83 percent of respondents said their communities have fall-prevention programs or training. But these programs can have high costs, and the programs can have trouble extending to different properties.
While falls remain a concern, senior living facilities can better serve the wellness needs through technology. According to the report, 86 percent of residents said they are very active. In addition, 82 percent of residents believe that living in these types of communities reduced their levels of loneliness.
Ninety-four percent of staff agreed that high occupancy rates contributed to resident satisfaction. Respondents said that having necessary friendships and connections while feeling safe in a clean living environment helps contribute to their happiness within their nursing homes. Facilities with higher approval ratings have leveraged technology in the evening to fill in the gaps where loneliness could occur. In addition, facilities that have integrated technology now have new workflows that only save them time but also allow them to better manage their resources.
Mackenna Moralez is the assistant editor with Healthcare Facilities Today.