Resident engagement in senior living and long-term care continues to rebound, with many positive trends evident in 2022 and the first half of 2023.
In fact, in 2023, total engagement and contacts seem poised to continue improving. Even if you have already successfully implemented a person-centered environment for your community, you can benefit from the data we are releasing in our 2023 Resident Engagement Benchmarks report.
The first part of this report lays out the current state of resident engagement and the importance of measuring data about engagement so that we can manage it. For instance, data in the report indicates that in 2022, residents received, on average, 26 minutes of engagement per day. In the first half of 2023, however, there is a 23% increase to 32 minutes of engagement per day. Although still not at the recommended goal of 35 minutes per day per resident, it does show a 23% increase which is a promising trend.
The next part of this groundbreaking report indicates that there has been a 43% increase in the average number of engagement contacts per resident per day from January to May of 2023. The average from our 2022 data showed just 0.65 contacts, compared to 0.93 in 2023, a 43% increase. This means that despite staffing challenges, our communities are finding ways to work in an interdisciplinary way that is, in turn, increasing meaningful engagement opportunities for residents.
Finally, our report shows that there has been a 100% increase in decline ratio for 2023. The average ratio was 15% in 2022, and in 2023, that average was 30%. This is an important piece of data. It means that coming out of the pandemic, residents now have an ever-increasing number of activities to choose from which gives them the opportunity to decline engagement more frequently based on their needs and preferences. During the height of the pandemic, our data showed that the average decline ratio was quite low, as residents said yes to any opportunity for engagement when such activities were limited due to safety precautions and lockdowns.
Other findings of the report highlight the challenges resident engagement still faces, including a lack of support from other departments, a lack of communication and support from their managing supervisors and insufficient access to and use of tools and technology.
While our data shows encouraging trends, there remains a lot of work to be done to improve meaningful resident engagement for older adults in our communities. An important step in the right direction would include understanding the demographics of our activity and life enrichment professionals. Linked Senior surveyed our #ActivitiesStrong audience and found out more about the characteristics of those who lead our activity departments. Two particularly interesting aspects are that 91% of our audience is female, and 42% have more than 15 years of experience in their role as activity professionals.
When we better understand the characteristics of activity and life enrichment professionals, we will be better able to support them in providing meaningful engagement to residents. We also need to fund the activity and life enrichment department because its success has a direct impact on the health and well-being of our residents which in turn impacts occupancy, family satisfaction and the organization’s bottom line.
Charles de Vilmorin is the CEO and co-founder of Linked Senior.
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