Nursing homes of the future will require two major themes to be successful: caring and technology.
In an age of continued lockdowns and restrictions, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel as our frontline healthcare workers and nursing home patients get their COVID vaccines.
But in the meantime, loneliness continues to kill.
You might think that caring is self-explanatory, a basic human need. Caring and isolation require a delicate balance to make sure all seniors get enough time with others. If not, they are at an extreme risk of suicide, depression and an increased health complications. In fact, loneliness has been measured to increase mortality a shocking 400%.
What can we do?
Some advances of note:
- Ava Voice Assistant, a voice-enabled smart speaker that allows for easy communication between residents, family members and caregivers — all while socially distancing.
- In-house dialysis with technologies such as Dialyze Direct has been able to significantly reduce nursing home resident infections and hospitalizations.
- Virtual reality is having a moment in the nursing home industry. Imagine traumatic brain injury through virtual reality systems. What might sound like science fiction is quickly becoming a reality and providing a whole new lease on life for some seniors.
I recently discussed innovation powered through rich media and digital marketing with my colleague, Karina Tama, founder of Senior Care Clicks. She calls some of the new tools “easy ways to help seniors feel loved and cared for, and that’s just the medicine they need to keep them emotionally strong and healthy.”
And as the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Visual communications that help further explain new technologies to the uninitiated (as well as the experts) are becoming more and more important.
If you’d like to learn more about how caring and technology intersect, check out this visual resource from the Wayne Center, a New York nursing and rehabilitation facility that puts a premium on technology. It makes an argument for a new standard for technology that improves care in nursing homes.
Brian Wallace is the founder and president of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY, and Cincinnati, which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s.