This November, I and other members of the STANLEY team attended the LeadingAge 2020 Virtual Experience. While I certainly missed the personal interactions and energy of LeadingAge “live,” this was nonetheless a great opportunity to connect with our many customers and friends in senior living. The event delivered some important takeaways about profound changes that are coming to the senior living industry in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
United behind a shared purpose
What most struck me about LeadingAge this year is how aligned everyone was. The crisis has reminded all of us who care for seniors or who support senior living caregivers of the awesome responsibility we carry. We’re seeing amazing collaboration and information sharing across the industry. Organizations are working together to help one another, and sharing and adapting new technologies to enhance resident care – technologies they may not have thought about pre-pandemic.
Safety, yes; but also wellness and fulfilment
It’s clear that safety is a top priority. Everyone wakes up thinking about it on a daily basis. But fundamentally senior living is about human connection – about wellness for residents, and fulfillment for staff. I had numerous conversations on a people-centered approach to keeping residents and caregivers safe, particularly new technology tools for wellness monitoring. These solutions help to keep residents safe and provide caregivers with better information so they can make better proactive care decisions.
New ways, and places, of care
Virtually everyone we spoke to is looking for new ways to elevate the quality and scope of their services. New technologies certainly have a role here, but it is mostly about new ways of thinking about where care is needed and how it can be delivered. We are seeing old distinctions – home care, assisted living, skilled nursing, etc. – blur as the need for care and monitoring increases for seniors in every environment. More and more providers see the necessity – and opportunity – to provide care in the home; and so do we. In fact, this is a central part of our vision, and we would welcome engagement with operators in understanding what your most important needs are to achieve this vision.
With the wrap of LeadingAge, I hope you were able to take away some similar ideas around the importance of tools and technologies in providing a safe environment for residents and staff. We hear your need for help and are committed to working with you to find new ways forward.