By Susan Saldibar

What are you doing to give residents and family members a meaningful way to connect over the holidays? 

That’s a tough question. But then this is a tough year as we grapple with the reality that no amount of cookies, decorations, and merrymaking can replace what residents and family really want for Christmas: To be together.

Sarah Hoit, CEO of Connected Living (a Senior Living Foresight partner) told me recently that that’s a big reason occupancy is suffering — the fear of moving loved ones into senior living and, because of COVID restrictions, not being able to get together with them. 

Instead of Trying to Duplicate “Home”, How About Providing a 24/7 Best-in-Class App and Content Experience? 

Sarah and the team at Connected Living have a solution. Give residents more power over their day with a 360-degree, on-demand connection. Not only to their family, but to best-in-class content providers to help lift their moods, soothe and calm the nerves, support health and wellness, and celebrate the season with great music.

And they’ve raised the bar on senior living content by partnering with top of the line providers that include Namaste Wellness of New York, Senior Savvy, Brilliant Aging, and CoroHealth (music, faith, and vision). 

What’s even cooler is that your community can access the Connected Living Community app and gain the ability to send mobile notifications and messages at no cost, with no obligation through December 2020. 

What’s This Experience Like? Just Ask “Sandra”.

So what does this “experience” feel like? The best way to describe it, Sarah says, is through the eyes of a resident (she calls her “Sandra”). Here is how Sarah describes a day in Sandra’s life: 

“Sandra’s experience actually starts before she moves into this community. While still a prospect, the community introduced her to the Brilliant Aging video series, which provided inspirational videos that helped her embrace a positive aging mindset and reassure her that independence and choice would be supported as she ages. (Needless to say, it also gave her a good feeling about the community.)

One day at her new community, Sandra wakes up feeling anxious about a virtual doctor visit that afternoon. To lift her spirits, she opens the Connected Living app on her smartphone and taps on MusicFirst from CoroHealth; a therapeutic music program of classic country comes on to brighten her mood.

After ordering breakfast through her community’s Apple TV app, Sandra turns to her in-room TV channel for the Namaste Wellness chair yoga class. Even though she hasn’t entered the community gym in months, Sandra has gained flexibility because the live streams are so motivational.

Sandra’s daughter “drops in” for a Zoom visit, on Sandra’s iPad. She promises to check in later after the telehealth appointment and share some recent photos of Sandra’s great-granddaughter through the Connected Living Community mobile app. Something to look forward to!

Sandra’s excited to learn new skills and tips from the interactive Zoom class with Senior Savvy at 2 pm. This iPad works a little differently from her smartphone. The personalized tech support Senior Savvy provides makes all the difference in her confidence level and ability to connect with friends and family. 

Temi the robot arrives at her apartment just in time for her telehealth visit. She’s relieved to get good news.

Later on, Sandra peruses the dinner menu and makes her selection from her Apple TV. A caregiver knocks on the door, and Sandra shares the photos of her great-granddaughter on the big screen TV.

After dinner, Sandra accesses a few of her favorite scripture readings from CoroFaith on her mobile app. It soothes and relaxes her.

Tonight’s sleep will be better – as she drifts off listening to rainfall from the tranquil Soundscapes program on her phone.”

How Could You Market This Wellness Connection to Prospective Residents?

I would think that this level of connection and engagement would also make family members feel better. Knowing that mom or dad has access to so many options, as well as connecting with them. What do you think? How would you market this to prospects? Sarah suggests sharing the app with prospective residents and family members. That way you introduce them to the apps, enabling them to connect with you and learn more about your community. Not a bad idea. It might even help position your community for more Q1 move-ins.

Above all, Sarah wants communities to know that you can still get your community connected in time for the holidays. “Adopting the Connected Living platform is quick, and comes with lots of support for community employees,” Sarah tells me. “And we’ve made it easy for communities to access this premium content (including live streams) on the app via a low monthly subscription rate on an a la carte basis. 

But, for now, try out the app’s mobile communication solution that connects families and the community for free. (Email [email protected] for details). It’s a cool way to give your residents something new for the holidays. And, for Sarah, it’s a way to send some holiday cheer your way. Something we could all use a little more of in the days to come.

For more information about Connected Living, please email [email protected] or visit