3 Takeaways from Successful Community Engagement Implementations
We frequently highlight the successes of clients in our case studies (like this one!). And as the demand for technology continues to grow, these client stories offer valuable insights into how communities can maximize their technology investments.
But there are a lot of insights and case studies to choose from. So we decided to collect the three takeaways that appear most often and put them into one convenient place for you – this blog.
Check out how our clients successfully implement Community Engagement below. There might be a strategy you can borrow.
1. Get Buy-In from Family Members
If you want to grow technology adoption rates in your community, try leveraging one of your greatest resources: residents’ loved ones.
After quarantine periods that left many older adults socially isolated, families want greater visibility into their loved ones’ lives – and residents do too. Lean into that.
You might create email campaigns for family members that highlight how their loved ones will benefit from enrolling in the Community Engagement platform (like The Monarch at Richardson). Or, on move-in days, you might hand out one-pagers that explain the enrollment process (like the folks from Benchmark at Forge Hill have done).
Most older adults want to use technology – they just need the right guidance and support. Looping in family members makes the implementation process easier, and it gives residents another trusted group that encourages their technology use.
2. Leverage Pilot Programs
Pilot programs serve as a valuable forecasting tool. If residents are clamoring to join the pilot and consistently use the platform during it, there’s a good chance most of the community will jump on board.
If residents are ambivalent – or unwilling to try out the pilot program – you’ll likely have some work to do, whether that’s drumming up interest in fresh ways or finding a new vendor altogether.
But there’s another value to pilot programs beyond forecasting: they can turn residents into champions of your new technology.
For instance, residents from the initial pilot group at Ohio Living Westminster-Thurber went on to create a resident tech committee. This cohort helps fellow residents enroll in Community Engagement and troubleshoot any technical issues that might arise.
Not only that, but this group helps drive adoption rates simply by engaging with the platform regularly. A huge component of a successful implementation is de-mystifying the technology. In many cases, the people who can de-mystify technology the best are the folks who use it themselves – fellow residents.
3. Implement Recurring Onboarding Sessions
It’s daunting to learn anything new when it comes to technology. Sure, 50 percent of adults 65 and older use Facebook. But they’ve likely had months, or even years, to get to know the platform. And that onboarding probably happened at their own pace.
That’s why a detailed and positive onboarding experience is crucial for a successful implementation of senior living technology. What that experience looks like can vary by community. You might invite family members to onboarding sessions (like Cappella of Grand Junction does) or you might lean on what’s familiar for residents – physical materials, like printed handouts and how-to guides.
The goal of onboarding isn’t to immediately modernize your residents and get them to ditch paper; it’s to show them technology can be a tool that enhances their lives.
Another way to maximize your investment into technology and improve the implementation process? Schedule recurring training classes. Chances are you’ve needed time and practice to get a firm handle on the platforms you use. Your residents are no different. They need practice and support. So offer them a space that lets them make mistakes without the fear of judgment.
Staffing and organizing these onboarding classes requires a commitment.
A Successful Implementation Sets the Stage for Greater Resident Satisfaction
The goal for any piece of senior living technology is to make life better for older adults. But for residents to experience that value, communities need to appropriately plan their implementation. This means taking time to instruct residents on a platform’s features, keeping loved ones in the loop, and leaning on your staff to provide continual support.
A well-planned implementation demonstrates that you’re considering residents’ needs – that you want them to thrive. And as more innovative senior living technology solutions come out, a tried-and-true implementation process makes them easier for you to adopt.
Fortunately, partnering with a vendor that offers its own robust onboarding experience can help you solidify and finetune your implementation process. That’s great news for future residents, who will expect their communities to seamlessly integrate technology.
One last note, in case you haven’t heard: the Caremerge Engagement business has been acquired by VoiceFriend – and is rebranding to Icon. If you’re interested in community engagement solutions, check out the new Icon website for more information.