By Susan Saldibar

All those digital ads you created with amazing images and quotes from your residents are great. People get all pumped up to come and visit your community. Good for you. But what happens when they come through your doors? What they see is important, to be sure. But what do they hear? And, perhaps even more important, what do they smell?

Miles McCollum, Director of Sales for LifeShare Technologies (a Senior Living Foresight partner), refers to that overall experience as the ecosystem of environment; involving more than just what someone sees when they visit a senior living community. It’s about how you engage all their senses.

The recent acquisition of LifeShare by Spectrio, has enabled them to enhance that ecosystem with some new additions to their portfolio. And Miles and his team are eager to share them with visitors to their booth at LeadingAge, coming up October 28th in San Diego.

Here’s a short rundown of some of the new features on display: 

    • Scent Marketing: They offer all kinds of scents to evoke different moods, occasions, etc. such as chocolate chip cookies, vanilla, sage, and dozens of others to trigger the senses. The scents come delivered in advance and prepackaged in different sizes for different areas, Miles explains. They’re also hypoallergenic, so residents and families don’t have to worry about an allergic reaction. Scent marketing is really pumping up tours and on-site events for their clients, Miles tells me. One client recently told him, “It’s funny because when we are expecting a tour, we run around the common areas spraying Febreze® everywhere. It makes perfect scents (no pun intended) to implement a system that takes care of the scent for us, and disperses the aroma more naturally throughout the community, matched to specific triggers.”


    • Music Programming: This is a commercial-free, web-based interface, which makes it easy to organize and create totally custom playlists for residents. Each TV can be independently programmed and scheduled. And changes can be made on the fly (so, if Sinatra’s not your thing, but Dylan is, no problem). Therapeutic music can also be accessed on-demand for special occasions, or when there are a group of residents relaxing by a TV and want to access their music preference.


    • New touchscreen kiosks: LifeShare has introduced touchscreen kiosks. And, according to Miles, they can be a real time saver for residents and staff. For example, Life Engagement Directors (LEDs) can spend hours sorting out paper sign-up forms for excursions. Now, with a kiosk in the front lobby, as well as a tablet version for added mobility, residents can scroll through activities and sign up on the spot. Even if residents can’t operate the touch-screen on their own, it provides a major time-saving resource for staff members. And, it creates a report that staff can print to show who is going on each excursion. And, of course, all the events, dining menus, and such can be pulled up through the touchscreen as well.


    • Alexa integration: Every community wants this and who can blame them? Alexa has revolutionized access to information, especially for sight-impaired individuals. LifeShare is rolling out their Alexa activation to enable residents to access activities and other key announcements within the community. They can even walk up to the lobby display and ask “what’s on today’s menu?” What’s really cool about the LifeShare-Alexa integration is that it’s true plug and play, so staff and residents don’t have to worry about connecting their Echo to a specific account. It’s already done for them. LifeShare is also working on some pretty cool Alexa enhancements, which Miles will share with attendees at the LifeShare booth at LeadingAge.

All of this is, as Miles explains, is part of their mission to holistically increase resident engagement and overall experience. And, I have to admit, they really do tap into pretty much all the senses. You can sample them yourself at LeadingAge in the LifeShare booth (#527). Just follow your nose to the booth, or look for their two 16’ towers and ask for Miles. I’ll be stopping by myself to catch a whiff of the “chocolate chip cookie” scent. Of course, then I’ll want one.

For more information about LifeShare, please visit their website.