5 Ways Mobile Makes Senior Communities More Efficient

Senior and caregiver using mobile

Mobile usage is deeply integrated into our culture and influences the daily routines of some senior living residents, their families and community staff. A majority are regularly tuned into their devices to communicate, simplify tasks and get up-to-date information, but many senior living communities are missing the opportunity to do the same.

By 2020, the population of individuals age 65 and older in the United States is projected to surpass 341 million, according to the Administration on Aging. At the same time, mobile usage continues to increase across all age groups, including seniors. With the help of new mobile technologies, senior communities can become more efficient and change the way they do business by:

1. Reducing Labor Costs

Labor is the biggest cost center in a senior living community, and often a difficult area to control. Senior Living operators need a way to maximize productivity and minimize costs to create a more streamlined workflow.

With the right mobile solution, operators can help employees become more efficient. With knowledge of the specific amount and type of staffing needed to meet each resident’s acuity, and with the ability to measure time required to complete tasks, senior living communities have the ability to more accurately charge for services and manage labor costs.

Maintenance and management can also track things like technician performance, service request response times and volumes, and maintenance costs and proactively make changes if needed. Adopt a software solution with the ability to track exactly where and how labor is being used, which will be especially helpful as labor rates increase over time as minimum wage rates rise in the future.

2. Completing Tasks Quickly

Collecting and processing all of the data for a community consumes time community staff could spend on more important areas of the business. Instead of printing, distributing and tracking down documents, why not let technology do the work? Adopting a mobile app makes it possible for staff to meet resident and maintenance needs without using paper and makes documentation more efficient.

With the right app, a user can assign a work order to a technician while out in the community with residents. They can then view the task, along with what status, expected and actual completion time, and any recorded events, such as an exception or resident refusal. And if it’s more effective for another team member to complete the task, it can be easily reassigned to ensure a resident’s needs are met in a timely manner. Look for a solution providing visibility for everyone in the company and leaving flexibility for ad-hoc requests

3. Documenting at the Point of Care

It is vital to resident satisfaction for caregivers to efficiently complete tasks as scheduled, and with knowledge of the resident’s unique preferences.  The RealPage Senior Living app offers features to make assigned tasks available on the operator’s choice of mobile device at the point of care.  Clients no longer need to print and file staff assignment reports to verify services were provided.  Managers are able to see incomplete, refused or reassigned tasks well before a caregiver’s shift ends, and intervene as needed.  Documenting services provided is easy and quick.  After all, if it isn’t documented it isn’t considered done.  Communities benefit from knowing the actual time utilized

4. Responding to Senior Needs

“When a caregiver  knows details about a resident’s needs, likes and dislikes, staff is more successful and the resident has a better experience,” said Patrice Danaher, Director of Product Management for Senior Living  at RealPage, Inc. The mobile app from RealPage Senior Living puts instructions for each task as well as other details right in the hand of the caregiver.

The app’s functionality also includes incident management. When reportable events arise, it’s vital for the community to act fast. Staff may document the event and record witnesses right at the scene before details are lost.  The app also supports recording notification of key contacts, such as family and physicians. Vital signs and follow up plans are also documented in the electronic record, ensuring all of the needed detail is in one place and available for management to review and approve.

5. Building Stronger Relationships

According to Pew Research, approximately 46% of online seniors use social networking sites. By providing residents a way to connect with their neighbors and friends living in the community, property managers can foster a sense of community and increase social engagement.

The ActiveBuilding Resident Portal from as a private social media network for seniors in the community and allows users to create their own profiles, create updates, and more. The Interest Groups feature helps residents connect with other community members around common interests, making it easy to find a work-out buddy or shopping partner right in the neighborhood. Property managers can utilize the community messaging feature to plan and promote community events and keep residents informed on important news. Residents also have the choice of receiving text, voice or email messages, and things like online payments, service requests and amenity reservations are made straight from the user’s device at their own convenience.

By embracing mobile technology, senior living communities can become as efficient as possible, resulting in happy residents and successful staff. Are you ready to take a proactive step to improve your senior business? Learn how with the RealPage Senior Living app.

 



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Leah is the Managing Editor of Property Management Insider. She is also a Social Media Specialist at RealPage Inc., a leading provider of property management software solutions for the multifamily, commercial, single-family and vacation rental housing industries. Her background includes social media, digital marketing and international marketing. Prior to joining RealPage, she managed social media strategy for a start up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and for the Texas A&M Center for International Business Studies. Leah is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

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