How To's and Tips, Senior Living, Workforce Engagement, "Technology"

Implementing Person-Centered Care into Our Communities

TSOLife and Person-Centered Care

It’s generally accepted in the senior living space that Person-Centered Care (PCC) is an important facet in improving the lives of staff and seniors as well as raising the standards of the industry as a whole. But there are discrepancies between acknowledging the importance of PCC and implementing some of its practices into our communities. In this week’s blog post, we’ll look at how to implement Person-Centered Care into our communities.

Mindset Shift
One of the quickest and easiest methods for pushing your community toward more personalized care is to shift the outlook on residents from patients to people. This means considering each resident’s entire life story as a vital piece of what makes them who they are today. To contrast this, patient care is a rather truncated view of each person, looking at what is currently ailing them to fix it as quickly as possible.

This shift in perspective can also open up opportunities for insights that may be looked over otherwise. Trying to understand resident behavior at face value can prove to be difficult, as it is with anyone. But diving a bit deeper into personal history can help your staff understand why some of the out-of-the-ordinary behaviors exist.

The Little Things Matter
Similarly to shifting our mindsets, getting to know the intricacies of your resident’s lives can help your staff make decisions on how to best offer them the care that they need. Knowing a resident’s favorite food seems like such a trivial and insignificant tidbit of information, but if you have someone you're caring for in memory care who refuses food, knowing which foods they like or what food their mothers cooked growing up could help resolve their eating issues.

Even with residents who are mostly autonomous, having access to and being able to recall small things about them can help make them feel heard, that they have the support there if they need it. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and letting your residents know that they’re seen can help to bolster morale. Sometimes the little things can help in a tremendous way.

Easier Methods for Long-term Results 
One of the biggest hurdles the senior living industry faces when trying to focus more on personal care lies in how to implement these methods on a large scale, while also maintaining sustainability. Caregivers have a finite amount of time and energy to allocate to each resident, which makes personal care for every person a challenge. The answer lies in the newer systems and technology we can implement into our communities to make Person-Centered Care easier, thus making is a more long-term solution.

TSOLife’s Co-Founder and COO, Stella Parris, weighs in: "It's unrealistic for every single staff member to have an extended sit down conversation with every single resident right at move-in. So if you can get one person to have that conversation, but allow all staff to read, listen, share, and enjoy the information, it becomes possible for staff to get to know each resident to some degree."

Without implementing newer systems and tech, the industry as a whole won’t be able to achieve the best results when it comes to Person-Centered Care. Additionally, passing up opportunities for easier PCC will only perpetuate the cycle of caregiver burnout, staff turnover, and ultimately lower standards for the care for our seniors.

Of course, there are a number of ways to apply more personal methods into your community, but it’s important to employ a forward thinking mindset to help make Person-Centered Care an effective, long-term solution. Start with the ways you can start applying to your community today and go from there. We’re all in the business of improving the lives of our staff and seniors, so let’s help each other get there a little faster.

 

How To's and Tips, Senior Living, "Technology"

Tech Integration in Senior Living

Dis one

Technology adoption and senior living may not be completely  synonymous at the moment, but we’re facing a shift in assisted living communities that might call for more tech with the ultimate goal of improving quality of life. For this reason, it’s important for us to to consider implementing new technologies into communities to benefit both staff and seniors.

Technological Considerations

There’s no question that technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives, especially as applications shrink in size and become wearable. In the senior living space, technology like this is thriving, although adoption rates may not reflect a proactive state. Among seniors ages 65 and up, roughly four in ten are smart phone users and almost seven in ten are daily internet users. As we see an increase in the use of technology throughout elder communities, we have to adjust not only to accommodate changing lifestyles, but also to improve the care that we can offer.

With the accumulation of data, caregivers would have more opportunities to provide effective care for their residents. From wearable tech that can offer up health insights through biometric data, to smart shoes to help guide the visually impaired, the goal of implementing newer devices into senior living communities is to provide better, accurate, and more proactive care.

Existing Tech

Since the technological landscape is in a constant state of motion, adoptability becomes a crucial factor in successful implementation. In a 2017 study conducted by the PEW Research Center, researchers found that among seniors, the majority of them felt a lack in confidence when setting up and using new electronic devices, but that once they’ve established a level of understanding they “engage at high levels with digital devices and content”. So how can we leverage tech that seniors and caregivers already use?

Striking the Balance

The gathering of data and use of new technology is likely to garner concern from some seniors or caregivers. Because of this hesitation, we have to find ways of bringing in newer systems that mesh well with people’s values and lifestyles as they are.  The TSOLife program strikes the balance between personal human connection and newer technologies. Simplicity for seniors and caregivers is another large contributing factor in the programs success rate. Our easy-to-use application helps provide opportunities for more engagement for residents and more efficient processes for caregivers.  This has lead to a high adoption rate among seniors in the communities we've partnered with. 

Implementing newer applications to make lives easier is the ultimate goal. Taking full advantage of the devices community members already use is a great way to ensure a higher adoption rate and better processes.