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BlogUncategorizedThe Best of the Icon Blogosphere: A Roundup of Our Top Posts in 2023

The Best of the Icon Blogosphere: A Roundup of Our Top Posts in 2023

We nerd out on senior living technology.

But we don’t just build engagement platforms or enhance reporting capabilities. We also share information about the senior living industry more broadly. Maybe that looks like a blog about the staffing shortage. Or about rising temperatures’ impact on resident health. Or about the benefits of resident-led groups.

Bottom line: if you’ve thought about it, there’s a good chance we’ve written about it.

And because we’ve written so much, we wanted to use this as a chance to recap the top blogs that grabbed your attention this year. The result: a seven-post roundup that outlines each of those blog’s takeaways and how they can help you foster a more engaged, efficient community overall.

Blog #1: What Makes an Aging Experience Iconic?

Original Blog

Our top-performing blog post this year teed up how communities can deliver an iconic experience to residents – and how this excellence kickstarts a domino effect that also improves the lives of family members, staff, and even prospective residents.

Interestingly enough, this blog also functioned as a preview to one of our white papers: What Makes an Aging Experience Iconic? 5 Essentials to Ensure Your Residents are Happy, Healthy, and Thriving.

The five essentials we outlined?

  1. Meaningful connections throughout the community
  2. Ample opportunities to build community
  3. Deep family relationships
  4. Holistic wellness
  5. Convenience at every turn

The takeaway: A senior living community strengthens and grows when every member (staff,

residents, and families) can connect with one another. That’s why we created Icon –

to build bridges between every part of a senior living community.

Blog #2: 12 Virtual Senior Living Activity Ideas

Original Blog

Communities may not be enforcing strict quarantines or practicing as many social distancing measures as they did pre-vaccine rollouts. But virtual events are an evergreen way to keep your residents engaged and, most importantly, healthy.

In this blog, we shared life enrichment activities from across the wellness spectrum (social, physical, mental, etc.) that communities can organize and execute remotely. A few of our personal favorites include:

  • Supplementing exercise classes with guided meditation.
  • Taking residents on a virtual museum tour.
  • Offering online language courses.
  • Helping seniors volunteer virtually.

The takeaway: Virtual events weren’t just a stop-gap solution for 2020 and parts of 2021. They’ve become a core element of a well-rounded life enrichment program. And they deserve just as much thought and creativity as any in-person experience you may host.

Blog #3: Guide to TCPA Regulation for Healthcare Providers for Text Message (SMS), Phone Call and Email Communication

Original Blog

One major concern for older adults is where all their data goes after signing up for various subscriptions and services. While it’s easy to brush these concerns off, there’s merit behind them. So if you’re leading a senior living community, you’ll want to ensure you’re (A) complying with regulations and (B) clearly outlining this compliance with your community members.

In this blog, we highlighted some common steps necessary to achieve compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and distinguished the TCPA from HIPAA. It is important to note, though, that the information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

The takeaway: Before adopting any technology solutions, or reaching out to members of your community, it’s vital that you understand the social and legal impacts of doing so. Don’t hesitate to consult with a legal professional for personalized advice. Your community depends on it.

Blog #4: Welcome to Icon: A Q&A with Icon CEO Ryan Galea on the All-in-One Communication and Engagement Platform Making Aging Better

Original Blog

It’s been a little more than a year since we formed Icon, and this Q&A with CEO Ryan Galea helped kickstart that rebrand. In this blog, we cover everything from what led to the acquisition of Caremerge Engagement to what drew Ryan to the senior living industry in general.

If you want to understand more about how we got started and why we’re so committed to enhancing the aging experience, this is a must-read.

The takeaway: Icon’s commitment to residents, families, and staff starts at the top.

Blog #5: How Does Your Senior Living Community Stack Up Against Industry Benchmarks?

Original Blog

Though occupancy rates have been on the upswing for months now, margins remain tight. That tension between occupancy and profitability has many operators assessing their investments and community performance in new ways. But there are several tried-and-true measurement frameworks. Here, we highlighted how operators can adapt to a changing market and accurately gauge their place in it.

The three methods we outlined:

  1. Assess senior living market data to keep tabs on industry-wide movement.
  2. Track metrics that align with your strategic and financial goals.
  3. If you’re not hitting your goals, don’t be afraid to change things up.

The takeaway: The senior living space is changing – but not too quickly for you to evolve and maintain profitability. The communities that think outside the box while driving decisions with data are positioned for long-term success.

Blog #6: Applying for Senior Living Tech Grants: A Step-by-Step Guide

Original Blog

One of the biggest obstacles to tech adoption is budget. But it doesn’t have to be. In this blog, we highlighted how you can secure tech grants to subsidize new solutions and, ultimately, improve the lives of those in your community.

Here’s that three-step guide:

  1. Identify the problems you want to solve with technology.
  2. Browse available grants to hone your proposal.
  3. When you apply, make a clear case for how your community will benefit from technology.

It’s important to also bear in mind that some grants are more competitive than others. And, in many cases, you get what you put into these applications. The more energy you devote to it, the greater the odds you’ll secure it.

The takeaway: Technology is both a differentiator and expectation for senior living today. If you haven’t already, your community must start thinking about technology options – both how to deploy them and how to finance them. Your current (and future) residents are counting on it.

Blog #7: 10 Questions Any Potential Resident Should Ask about Senior Living Technology

Original Blog

We frequently highlight the experiences of staff members who’ve successfully adopted Icon. But it’s rare that we get to hear directly from residents. In this blog, we got that opportunity and spoke with Janice – a resident from Royal Oaks – to understand what residents want and need from their technology solutions.

Janice had dozens of valuable insights to share – more than we can fit here. So we decided to pull a few of our favorite quotes.

I don’t mean for this to be of a very serious nature, but the most exciting thing about living at Royal Oaks is the peace of mind in knowing that whatever we might need is right here – and that we’re cared for.

“[Amazon] Alexa is very popular here. Dave and I are blessed to be able to get around easily, but it’s just so much more convenient to say ‘Hey, Alexa, turn on Dave’s light.”

“Before my husband, Dave, and I moved to Royal Oaks, I’d started delving into computers and tech – helping friends and family. That was important for me to have in a community. The technology was important.”

The takeaway: Resident buy-in determines the success and longevity of your senior living technology. The best tech implementations occur when residents feel they have a seat at the table.

Looking Ahead to 2024: What to Expect in Senior Living

The senior living landscape is full of emerging topics and technologies. That’s true in just about any year. But as we round out 2023 and head into 2024, there are some trends to bear in mind, from increasing insurance costs to the growing number of tech-savvy residents. (Rest assured, we’ll be writing about them in detail.)But the broader takeaway here – and in each of our blogs – is this: technology can help you. It can boost resident engagement, optimize staff workloads, deepen familial connections, and so much more. If you ever want help deciding which tech makes sense for your community, or if your existing tech isn’t cutting it, we’re here. Just give us a ring.

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