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BlogCCRCThe Benefit of a Seamless User Experience: How Icon Boosts Resident Engagement at Unisen Senior Living

The Benefit of a Seamless User Experience: How Icon Boosts Resident Engagement at Unisen Senior Living

It’s not easy to craft a life enrichment program that engages residents, loops in families, and simplifies workflows for staff. If it were, every community would do it. But there’s a distinction here: every community can do it – regardless of where they start.

Just over the past three years, we’ve seen senior living leaders and operators increasingly rely on senior living technology. Initially driven by lockdowns, this reliance has continued. Why? Because these solutions make life better for community members.

That’s certainly been the case for Tampa-based Unisen Senior Living. To better understand how Unisen leverages senior living tech, we spoke with Michelle Cronin (Director of Lifestyles), Nancy Vincent (Lifestyle Coordinator), and residents Ron Day and Glenda Hubbard.

The Problem: Paper-Based Systems Eroded Staff Productivity and Hampered Life Enrichment

We don’t hate paper. There’s a strategic value to sharing printouts and sign-up forms. (For one, it ensures tech-averse residents can still interact with the community how they please.)

But paper-based systems are impractical for an entire community’s life enrichment program. Especially today. That’s the same conclusion Unisen Senior Living drew.

Prior to adopting Icon, Michelle emphasizes, there was lots of manual work. To illustrate, here’s how the typical life enrichment activity process went for staff:

  • Create the monthly event calendar on Microsoft Word.
  • Print enough copies of the calendar.
  • Deliver the copies door to door – to each resident.
  • Create sign-up sheets for every activity in Microsoft Word.
  • Print several copies of each sign-up sheet.
  • Distribute the sign-up sheets throughout the community.
  • Collect the sign-up sheets prior to the events.
  • Share sign-up sheets with activity leaders on the day of an event (to get a headcount).

Sound exhausting? This doesn’t even cover what happened if residents canceled ahead of time or if staff needed to modify the event (change the date, location, time, etc.).

It also doesn’t capture how time-consuming this experience was for residents. Ron and Glenda note that lines would form two to three hours before staff posted sign-up sheets. The reason: residents wanted to reserve their spots for dinners, museum trips, and other offsite activities.

Unisen leaders knew they needed a change – that their residents and staff deserved better. So they turned to Icon.

The Solution: Senior Living Technology That Puts the Resident First

Since Icon’s rollout, residents have built deeper relationships and felt freer to pursue their interests. Staff members have the flexibility to start new projects. And the entire community feels more connected than ever before.

That complicated event sign-up process? A thing of the past. Michelle mentions that staff can now broadcast, and modify, events with the tap of a button – thanks to Icon’s digital calendar. Not only that, but staff can now track attendance rates – something they never had time to do before.

One key tool that Glenda and Ron use in their day to day: resident groups. With Icon’s Community Engagement solution, residents can independently start their own committees and cohorts, share messages or photos with that group, and schedule their own activities.

The Community Engagement platform also makes it easier for residents to get the information they need once they need it. That’s because Unisen uses the portal to store information, from emergency preparedness policies to special dining menu items, that residents can access from the homepage.

And for residents that haven’t fully bought into technology yet, Michelle and Nancy created a plan. They organize a recurring town hall for every resident to view that month’s events and share feedback on the community’s operations more broadly. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Unisen also uses digital displays to regularly broadcast information like daily events and menu options.

The Result: Higher Attendance, Deeper Relationships, and Hours of Saved Time

Remember how Michelle and Nancy never had time to track attendance for life enrichment activities? Today, they regularly track attendance at 50+ events per month.

This data equips Michelle, Nancy, and other life enrichment staff members with dozens of insights, from which events are most popular to which residents are most engaged. That goes a long way toward improving attendance rates which, both Michelle and Nancy note, have “definitely gone up [since adopting Icon].”

Icon’s technology also makes it easier for residents to engage with their community. Users can quickly view community updates – from the critical (transportation plans for events) to the whimsical (whether that “big turtle is still on the street”). Plus with voice assistant devices, residents can get their need-to-know information with a simple “Hey, Alexa…” prompt.

The broad takeaway: Icon gets Unisen community members on the same page. The resident association, for instance, can more easily track events and gather feedback from fellow residents using the engagement portal. This is pivotal when it comes time to share ideas with Unisen’s leadership team.

These feedback loops make Unisen special. They encourage resident buy-in. They inform positive changes. And they’re strengthened by Icon’s senior living technology.

What’s Next for Unisen: Maximizing Icon’s Senior Living Technology

For the time being, Unisen is focused on getting the most out of its existing Icon solutions. Nancy says they’re hoping to increase participation from the Family Engagement users. And there are plenty of other useful features that tech-savvy residents like Ron and Glenda know about, but other residents could use a refresher on.

Collaboration is the key here. And for a connected community like Unisen, that’s exactly how they want it.Interested in learning how an all-in-one communication and engagement platform can save time, enhance the aging experience, and cut costs? Reach out! We’d love to discuss.

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