Summer Checklist: More Engagement. Less Work. 

As we continue to push through COVID, residents and family members want more engagement options. Yet, staffing shortages make it harder than ever to fill event calendars. And outbreaks threaten to keep residents sheltering in place intermittently. It is time for the senior living industry to rethink resident engagement strategies across the board to give residents consistent and customized engagement across all care settings.

Your summer checklist includes launching new engagement programs, but how can you do that with fewer staff members.

Replace group events with personalized programs. 

Rethink engagement. 

Let’s face it, when engagement solutions first hit the market, they were all about operational efficiency. While dining menus, activity registration, and service ordering are helpful, they benefit the staff, not the residents. While we still need that operational efficiency (and maybe even more of it), there is more we can do to engage our residents.

True engagement is resident centered. It is about meeting resident needs before they ask. It’s about helping them stay healthier longer. It’s about putting more options on their fingertips. And it’s about providing the same basic services they expect—and that help your team help them with fewer resources—better than anyone else.

Personalize the resident experience

How do you know what your residents truly need and desire? Intake questionnaires ask about likes and dislikes, activity of daily living needs, and medications. Staff interactions identify hobbies and interests. Families share history and patterns.  

To be helpful, that information needs to “tell” your staff how your residents would like to keep growing and contributing so they can help residents stay independent. That same information needs to offer insights about how can help residents maintain and build relationships.

At Sentrics, we believe that growth, independence and relationships help residents activate their own vitality. For us, these three pillars are part of a co-developed wellbeing platform that helps identify a resident’s overall health and wellness and nudges them to keep pushing. It’s all part of Resident Journey, a wellbeing platform that uses wellbeing and satisfaction surveys and personalized, content-based recommendations to help nudge a resident to help themselves continue to grow, feel independent and manage relationships. 

Regardless of the wellbeing foundation you use, it should guide a resident’s journey and a resident’s overall experience at your community. It takes engagement to a whole new level.

Today’s engagement is very personal. It means combining health and wellbeing knowledge with the ability to provide the right activities at the right time to engage each resident on their terms. And it takes more than a dart board of activities. It takes sophisticated analytics that correlate data from thousands of data points to identify when a resident is sleep-deprived, discouraged, mad, sad or happy. It takes insights and trends fed to your very limited and stretched staff at the right time so they can take the action that makes the difference between extremely satisfied and horribly disappointed

6 must have capabilities to meet resident needs 

  • Wellbeing approach 
  • Survey tools and a way to score wellbeing 
  • Recommendation engine to encourage behavior 
  • Analytics engine to provide staff insights 
  • Activity management to deliver personal and small-group events that drive true vitality 
  • Easy access to dining, weather, activities, personal exercise, faith programming and repairs to offload stretched and temporary staffers 

Staff stops guessing. The right engagement tools make your limited staff more effective. They stop guessing about the right activity or program to use to engage residents. They use information to encourage self growth and supplement that growth with other options.

Help residents stay healthy

COVID introduced a whole new era of healthcare options to residents. Telehealth, individual exercise, personal worship and even mood-changing music all came of age during COVID. Your residents now expect your community to help them manage their own wellbeing, keep them out of the hospital, and feed their minds and souls. 

While many communities offer some telehealth services, including often designating a telehealth room for the calls, nothing is as convenient as consulting with an on-call physician from the comfort of their own apartments. For your assisted living residents, consider offering a healthcare-assisted call right from their TVs. Independent living residents can initiate their own calls over their bigger screen TVs, which provide much better angles for the physician to assess resident healths and avoids the awkwardness and frustration of constantly adjusting the camera angle on a smart phone, tablet or laptop computer.  

The power of music to change a mood is indisputable Scientifically choreographed music can help a sleepy resident wake up, calm an agitated resident and even help memory care residents sundown. How are you using music to modify resident behavior today? 

 When group programming is limited, you don’t have the time or the staff to help each resident complete exercises tailored to a specific condition. Some residents can handle more aggressive standing exercises, others need to complete limited mobility, or seated exercises. Providing no-login access to senior-safe exercises via a TV screen, helps your residents exercise safely. At the same time, access to faith programming eliminates the need to organize group faith activities and avoids the close contact that comes with group worship.

3 must-have capabilities to meet resident care needs 

  • Personal, in-room access to an on-call physician 
  • Scientifically choreographed music to change mood 
  • Senior-safe exercises available over the TV

Powerful programming with ease. TV-based options decrease the workload associated with group programming while providing the personal touch your residents need and want. Plus, in-room healthcare keeps residents in their apartments where they are safer from infection and less self-conscious about their appointments. 

Provide More Service Access 

As more residents delay senior living community move-ins, they have discovered the convenience of new services. Point-of-sale purchasing, smart technology, and voice control are all baseline expectations now. 

Your staff can no longer take the time to accept paper dining orders, and your residents want the convenience of ordering and paying for room service, dining extras and activities online. But tablets and computers can be complicated. Look for a solution that gives them access through their TVs and a senior-friendly, big-button remote.

These same residents also want easy access to menus, weather and repair requests. What could be easier than point and click applications on their standard TVs? Better is when they can control those clicks with their voices!

3 must-have capabilities for improved service access

  • Point of sale soutions that integrate with dining, room service, activities and even monthly billing 
  • One-click access to third-party apps for safe exercises and mood-altering music 
  • Easier access to weather, dining, community and personal schedules, and easy-request repairs 

Your staff with thank you. When you automate the paper trail of dining options, activity registrations, repairs and more, your staff has more time to help care for your residents. And, it checks the box for staff who expect to leverage technology to make their jobs easier.

Engagement that gives families confidence 

It is no surprise that the baby boomer children are demanding. They are technologically savvy, comfortable demanding action and open to alternatives when they are not pleased. When you provide your residents with more a personalized, data-driven experience, you also have the information those children need to be confident with their loved ones’ care.

Engagement that differentiates your community 

While no engagement technology can replace one-to-one communication, technology can improve the experience your residents have inside and outside of your community. Your ability to provide a unique resident experience that provides a personalized journey for residents, insights to help staff respond not react, and technology that automates simple tasks so your staff has more time to care for residents will be your market differentiator. 

Take a look at Engage360SM 

If more engagement for less work is your goal, it’s the perfect time to retire your first-generation engagement solution and leverage technology that allows you to do more. Engage360SM transforms resident TVs into a social, health and wellness engine that improves whole health, increases satisfaction and enables more proactive action to help a resident activate their best day possible every day in their senior living community. 

To find out more, go to or call (888) 988-8210.

Download the PDF here.