Tech-forward senior living communities are starting to position their technology in ways geared towards attracting and engaging young workers.

By Susan Saldibar

Millennials have this sort of nagging expectation that their workplace should be equipped with the latest technology.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing because it’s pushing the envelope in an industry not used to being pushed around, especially by millennials.

But here’s what’s really interesting. Tech-forward senior living communities are starting to position their technology in ways geared towards attracting and engaging young workers. So, yes, they’re marketing to residents and their families. But they’re also targeting and marketing to the “expectations” of millennials. And it’s working.

This is not about technology for technology’s sake.

Here’s what we’re learning from companies like Vigil Health Solutions, a Senior Housing Forum partner. Vigil, as you may know, is in a constant development cycle; listening to users, adjusting, innovating and releasing. What we are learning from Vigil is that, while millennials have this “technology expectation” they, like any of us, want it used in meaningful ways.

Six Keys Areas

Here are six key areas where there is an expectation of technology to play a key role:

  1. Mobile communications; from emails to all digital communications.

  2. Intranet/messaging center for peer-to-peer communications and access to information.

  3. Electronic medical records for easy on-the-go access.

  4. Online access to HR programs, such as online training, personal records, schedules.

  5. State of the art medical devices (equipment, tools, etc.).

  6. State of the art medical systems (such as alerts, alarms, monitoring).

First of all, you need to make sure you have the expected technologies in place. Taking the last item, as an example. There are communities who have really become leading edge, using the latest sensor technology, such as Vigil, to make everyone’s lives easier. They are using advanced sensors to detect movement, changes in moisture and temperature. And alarm technology has evolved to allow voice-activated alerts for those residents who are unable to press a button for help. So there’s plenty there to promote, assuming you have the technology in place.

Selling Technology to prospective employees as an amenity; where to start?

So how can operators of senior living communities use intelligent technology as an amenity to attract younger, technology-connected caregivers? “Younger workers want to know that technology is working to make everything they do more efficient, less time consuming and liberating so that they can spend their time doing more meaningful work,” says Jacquie Jacquie Brennan, Vigil Vice President of Operations.

So it’s not just about throwing tech talk around during an interview. It’s about tying each piece of advanced technology to a personal benefit for the employee, as well as the resident.

Here’s an example:

Instead of saying…

“We provide state-of-the-art bed sensors to detect both movement and moisture.“

Link it to a personal benefit….

“Instead of doing night-check in a pre-set order, you can first visit the rooms where a resident is either restless or has wet the bed. How will you know? Our sensor technology identifies those residents, so you can tend to them more quickly, while not interrupting those who are sleeping peacefully. Less stress on you; better care for our residents.”

The bottom line, according to Jacquie, is that senior living communities need to start marketing the benefits of their technology with the same level of energy they use to promote other amenities. That means adding the benefits of your technology as part of your HR recruitment programs, inserting it into your advertising and on your website’s careers page.

Technology, used intelligently, is powerful. It can measurably improve the daily routines, environment and quality of life for all those in your community who are connected to it.

If that’s not an amenity, what is?

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