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It’s Time to Rethink TV-Based Entertainment

Entertainment January 25, 2021

You already know that the TV is a companion, a link to the outside world, and a source of comfort for most residents in your communities. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans aged 65 and older watch an average of 4 hours and 14 minutes of TV every day.  

But did you know that up to 50% of seniors over 75 have hearing loss and use closed captioning and specialized sound settings?

That 15.2 percent of seniors have vision loss and prefer to use voice-enabled technology?

And 50 percent of adults as young as 85 have cognitive impairment and struggle with even the most basic functions like switching between a cable box and a DVR to record shows?

Did you know that there is more your community can do to provide TV-based entertainment? 

Rethink the Fundamentals of Entertainment for Seniors

If you’re like most communities, you offer some type of TV service today. In fact, those services often come from the same providers your residents used in their own homes before moving into your community. Except the service is not quite the same. To keep costs low, communities may offer fewer channels, a simple guide that scrolls through all channels continuously, and standard remotes with buttons that are hard to see and even harder to push. 

When residents purchase their own DVR, it comes with a separate box and a separate remote. Some residents choose their own Internet and voice services too. They may even use third-party streaming services that require separate logins and even worse—another remote!

It’s easy to see how residents can become frustrated with their TVs.

To Create a Better Experience, Think Beyond the Minimum Requirements

What if you could transform the resident TV from a box into an entertainment platform? A platform that includes the channels they like, with an easy way to find and record them, and the ability to see community movies and events from their apartment TVs? Your TV requirements checklist can include all of these new and improved entertainment options that meet the needs and expectations of your residents. 

  • A customized channel lineup just for seniors. Replace that standard list of channels with a list of channels your residents want. Customize it based on geography and even level of care. Pick channels that show resident favorites including classic TV shows like I Love Lucy and even westerns like Gunsmoke that bring back memories. And switch out programming with the seasons to make sure your residents can view their favorite sporting events.
  • An easy-to-use interactive and intuitive guide. All TV guides are not created equally. Don’t settle for the scrolling TV guide that is hard to stop, doesn’t go in the reverse direction, and forces residents to view all the channels to get back to the channel they want. Look for a TV platform that includes an interactive and intuitive guide that offers choices in the of display modes, the ability to scroll through channels up or down. The ability to look ahead and upcoming shows. And the ability to view shows by picture, rather than just the names.
  • Senior-friendly remotes. Standard remotes have a lot of buttons that are small, hard to read, and hard to push. Look instead for a big-button remote that your residents can use with ease.
  • Integrated DVR. As soon as a resident adds a third-party DVR, the TV complexity increases, as does the number of cords and remotes. Look instead for a TV platform with an integrated DVR that uses the same box, same remote, and same guide as the TV to record and play programming. 
  • High-definition TVs. Give your residents the pleasure of clarity. They enjoy their programs more, and your maintenance is simpler.
  • Voice-controlled channel selection. Voice control has moved into all aspects of our lives. Why not give residents the option to control their TVs with their voices too?

But don’t just stop at TV programming, think about the TV as the theater for residents to watch:

  • DVD movies pre-selected and loaded to playback on your schedule 
  • Live events broadcasted from a designated community room right to the resident TVs
  • Community announcements that act as a live message board

A better entertainment experience starts with the right TV programming. But why stop there for your senior living community? The TV can actually be a platform for something bigger, something better than just entertainment.

Make the TV an Engagement Hub

The pandemic has helped seniors become more comfortable with technology. Did you know that 80-90 percent of senior living residents are now online in their communities? While 55 percent of seniors never participated in a video call before the pandemic, 52 percent plan to continue using them after restrictions are lifted. And the average independent living couple now has 10 devices in their apartment.

What if you could make it easier for your residents to access and use technology to stay connected and relevant longer? What if you could give your residents the ability to engage with the community, their family, even their caregivers, through the TV? 

The TV is already something that practically every resident uses regularly in assisted living, independent living, memory care, and life plan communities. What if you give your residents the ability to support their physical, medical, social, and behavioral needs right through a familiar device—the TV?

Today’s technology gives you the ability to engage residents over their TVs. This is ideal for seniors who cannot or choose not to leave their apartments. Now you can use the TV to provide engagement solutions that:

  • Transform their minds with therapeutic playlists, engage their bodies with customized exercises for every level, feed their souls with spiritual and faith content, and enhance their connections with friends and family?
  • Give residents in your senior living community the ability to access full, interactive menus and weather; request a repair or service with a few clicks on the remote, or even view and register for an event?
  • Provide an interactive tool to communicate with family, share photos and chat right through the TV?

One Source. One Solution. One Room. 

Did you know that 55 million seniors want access to technology to help enrich their lives? Today, senior living communities are leveraging technology to improve resident experience.  What if you gave them that access through a platform they already know—the TV? 

If your goal is to leverage technology to create a life-changing experience for residents in your senior living community, then it’s critical that you partner with technology providers that understand the health and resident-service side of the industry.

Think about the possibilities and the experience, you can give your seniors. All without having to learn, or even connect, new technology like tablets or laptops.

Enter Sentrics Data-Driven Solutions 

The Sentrics360 suite utilizes cutting-edge technology to create a 360-degree view of—physical, medical, social, and behavioral needs of each resident’s health and wellbeing. Two of the four pillars of the Sentrics platform—Engage360 and Entertain360—are centered around the TV.  

Designed by senior living experts, Sentrics solutions are an integral part of how you manage your resident’s health and experience. With just a single box, Sentrics can transform any HDMI-TV into a comprehensive entertainment and engagement solution. And you get happier and healthier residents, higher move-ins, lower turnover, and a better bottom line.

Sources:

  1. “Are You Technologically Prepared?” Senior Housing Business, 20 July 2020, seniorshousingbusiness.com/are-you-technologically-prepared 
  2. Kakulla, Brittne Nelson. “Older Americans’ Technology Usage Keeps Climbing.” AARP, Jan. 2019, www.aarp.org/research/topics/technology/info-2019/2019-technology-trends-older-americans.html.
  3. Sarasohn-kahn, Jane. “Phone Calls, Social Plans, and Entertainment As Prescriptions for Older Peoples’ Loneliness.” Health Populi, 12 Sept. 2019, www.healthpopuli.com/2019/09/12/phone-calls-social-plans-and-entertainment-as-prescriptions-for-older-peoples-loneliness.
  4. “Quick Statistics About Hearing.” Nidcd.Nih.Gov, 2016, www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing.
  5. “Special Report on Aging and Vision Loss.” Afb.Org, Jan. 2013, www.afb.org/research-and-initiatives/aging/special-report-aging-vision-loss.
  6. Barzilai, Nir. “Cognitive Decline and Dementia in the Oldest-Old.” Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov, 31 Oct. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678827.

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