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When Knowledge is Power: Improving the Resident Journey

Senior Living December 6, 2021

By Sara Kyle, LE3 Solutions

This blog is part of the Resident Journey Series. It explores how a community can use the detailed information about a resident’s unspoken needs, and the insights it creates, to drive the resident’s journey purposefully while improving the overall experience within the community. 

When we last read about Barbara, she had just answered a series of individualized questions and followed the recommendations served up through the Resident Journey app on her in-room TV. The uplifting and thoughtful content and recommendations encouraged and promoted opportunities to foster physical and mental independence, adopt a growth mindset and build and maintain relationships. 

Getting to know a resident on a deeper, personal level is always the goal for organizations and staff members. Finding an efficient and practical way to do it is difficult and can slow the ability to create a personalized experience for each unique customer, the resident. That’s where Resident Journey comes in. It is a systematic and curated approach to assess residents’ emotional health, gauge their transitions in and through the community, and nudge and support their move from passive to activated vitality through a series of choreographed questions and recommendations right on the TV.

This blog addresses the insights shared through Resident Journey and how a community can leverage them to personalize individual resident outcomes. 

When you know more, you can do more 

Deborah is the Executive Director at Barbara’s community. Resident Journey captures both the responses to questions, as well as the recommendations Barbara viewed (and didn’t view). It’s backend technology uses resident feedback and rankings to determine if the content is effective and engaging. Deborah can drill down to see specific information about each individual, and analytics about the entire community or portfolio to better understand the aggregate data of each community or even region-specific trends. Within minutes, she has a pulse check on residents through a variety of insights.

For example: Deborah can see that Barbara’s answer of Sometimes to the question: “Do you have friends and family that you connect with regularly?” is showing a negative pattern. While she has told no one directly, Barbara’s answers paint a story that she could be lonely and missing family and friend interaction. This is a pattern Deborah would like to break before it leads to potential loneliness, social isolation and dissatisfaction with her community experience. 

Deborah can also see a trendline of “answers” that signal that Barbara could use some support with relationship building in and outside of the community. Support is critical and can transform both length of stay and quality of life. We know that length of stay is extended when people feel rooted in community and known by the staff. It is a different encounter and conversation when Deborah can lead her conversation with Barbara with a poignant statement that is specific to her and her journey, rather than asking her about the weather or lunch entrée. Perhaps, she opens the conversation with: “Barbara, I noticed you are not feeling as connected to friends and family the past few weeks. Do you know the next time your son is planning to visit?” Asking different questions can often lead to a different outcome and deeper connections.

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Richer insights drive new life engagement solutions

Because Resident Journey captures more detailed information about each resident, including aspirations and future endeavors and interests, it is much easier for the programming team and all staff to plan high-quality, intentional and meaningful offerings.   

For example, when insights show a low congregate score for residents building organic friendships in the community, Deborah’s team could leverage the “matching” technology to pair residents of similar interests and backgrounds. It could connect the four fans of a far-away sports team to watch a game together. Or it could organize a cook-off with residents who identify as self-proclaimed foodies/cooks in their personal lives to help Chef Paul select a new dish.

Collecting these insights and pursuits at the individual level provides an opportunity to then look at the community as a whole, pairing people with similarities and larger groups with common interests, goals or aspirations. The effort for staff to bring people together is no longer guesswork. Instead, all are empowered to view the insights and suggest ideas for engagement of resident-to-resident and resident-to-staff. 

In addition, the insights that Resident Journey provides to community leadership will also show changes and trends in these answers, over time based on the days, months or years a resident has lived in the community and the degree to which the personalized content can positively nudge a resident to independence, self-growth and expanded relationships. 

As much as learning critical information too late is frustrating, it can be overwhelming for staff to be presented with powerful insights and not know what action to take next. That’s why Resident Journey provides insights and recommendations to give staff 

  1. An opportunity to intervene in a potentially negative situation, and 
  2. The ability to use the congregate insights to plan the next community event, lifelong learning topic or hired entertainer; confident that it will be a hit 

Help residents activate their best day every day

Resident Journey is all about providing resources to each and every resident to activate their best day, every day. 

Without Resident Journey, Deborah and her community might have struggled to help Barbara feel safe and engage with others. They might not have recognized that she was in a less than desirable state and might have lacked tools (or recommendations) to nudge Barbara to help herself. 

Pushing simple recommendations can nudge people into active engagement, and they are more powerful than passing out a monthly calendar of activity offerings and waiting for people to show up. 

Before Resident Journey, Deborah might have tried to help Barbara build new connections by offering new “events” like:  

  • Schedule a “friend speed dating” and include personal invitations to people with lower connection scores
  • Place talking points and interesting questions on dining tables for residents to ask each other while waiting on lunch and dinner servings
  • Plan a family night event—in person or virtual—to help family and friends become part of the broader community and witness their loved ones interacting with the community in a new way

With Resident Journey, Deborah’s strategy is different. It helps identify potential issues early. It enables Barbara to act by nudging her to elevate her own wellbeing and gives team members the insights they need to recognize an issue and solve it with life engagement solutions that consider each resident’s overall health, wellness and wellbeing. 

When individual residents are seen and heard by staff and participate in community life, resident and family satisfaction scores improve, and overall engagement will rise for all involved (residents, staff, family, and prospects). Resident Journey is a key differentiator for marketing and engagement teams and can help drive a prospect or family member to choose your community over a nearby competitor, ultimately increasing occupancy. 

Resident Journey is a key part of Engage360SM. Learn more about these senior living solutions how you can use both to change the way your team interacts with and serves your residents. 

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