In the past, senior living communities have been hesitant to invest in modern technology for fear that residents would lack interest or fail to adapt. Fast-forward to today, and communities are recognizing the importance of wireless connectivity in senior living more than ever before.
Research shows that today’s older adults are far more tech savvy than previous generations. According to a recent Pew Research study, only 14% of seniors were Internet users in 2000. Now, more than 67% of adults over the age of 65 consider themselves plugged in.
Investing in wireless connectivity solutions like property-wide Wi-Fi may feel daunting to property owners, but it will position senior living communities to continuously meet the growing needs of not only their residents, but healthcare professionals and community staff as well.
How connectivity benefits residents
The COVID-19 pandemic has been monumental in showcasing the importance of wireless connectivity in senior living. As communities were forced to restrict access and visits, residents have relied heavily on Internet solutions to keep them connected to loved ones and the world around them.
As the number of Baby Boomers aging into the 65-and-older population continues to rise, more residents are bringing their existing technology, such as smart phones, tablets and personal computers, to communities. These items are no longer considered luxuries and are instead viewed as must-haves by residents, requiring communities to have the necessary infrastructure in place to accommodate the growing number of devices.
How connectivity benefits healthcare professionals
Recent technology advancements have made it easier for healthcare professionals to monitor and communicate with their patients, without the need for face-to-face interactions. Advancements such as wearable technology and telemedicine have become especially beneficial to the older population, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and require frequent Internet access to use.
Wireless connectivity across senior living communities ensures healthcare professionals can provide patients with the care they need when they need it most, improving residents’ quality of life and reducing overall healthcare costs.
How connectivity benefits community staff
Wireless connectivity has been shown to be an integral part of communities’ success. By accommodating the needs of residents and healthcare professionals through connectivity, communities have experienced an increase in resident and family satisfaction.
Property-wide connectivity can also help support the day-to-day operating services of communities and make them more efficient. Many communities are utilizing sophisticated security solutions, such as automated passkeys for exterior doors or RFID chips in wearables, that need the support of reliable Wi-Fi connectivity to ensure the safety of residents and staff.
Working with a wireless connectivity provider who can ensure a community’s network is designed to meet their current needs, and also adjust as these needs evolve, is critical. Investing in the right technology will position communities for current and future success and give residents the opportunity to safely age in place.