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Connection Is About More Than Just WiFi


If we learned one thing from the pandemic, it’s the importance of connectivity in our lives. We needed to adjust very quickly to quarantining and social distancing measures, but there is a heavy cost associated with it in the form of social isolation and loneliness. Seniors are at higher risk when it comes to the negative impacts of social isolation and loneliness, with social distancing causing increased rates of Alzheimer's and Dementia symptoms as well as an overall increase in death from all causes.

However, seniors with a sense of community and fulfilling friendships in their lives have a 50% higher likelihood of outliving their peers. When they’re able to cultivate those important and valuable relationships in the communities where they live, they’re far more likely to remain in their homes.

Providing the Right Opportunities to Connect

Senior living leaders would be wise to pay attention to these studies on friendship and connectivity when considering what amenities and services they’re bringing to their community. For active communities wanting to foster a sense of connection, it takes a lot more than just high-quality WiFi services. Here are just a few ways you can bring more connection to your community:

  • Get to know your residents: Seniors, even active seniors, aren’t a monolith, and each community will have different needs based on their geographic location, average resident age, income bracket, and level of technology adoption and knowledge. Spend time with your residents hosting events—either virtually or in person. Offer them routes to provide feedback about their lives and their homes. And most of all, have fun with them! You are part of their community too.
  • Clear and two-way communication: Keep your residents informed about the changes and events in their communities. Allow them to participate in planning events for their friends and neighbors. The more involved residents feel, the more likely they are to stay in their communities and forge strong bonds within them.
  • Put all of the information in the palms of their hands: Your community has a great WiFi infrastructure, lots of fun events, and plenty of common space for communal activities. That’s all wonderful, but how are residents to know when and where every event is? Providing your residents with a custom-built community app to stay connected even when they’re at home is one way to ensure they have all the information about the fun and community you’re offering.

As aging in place becomes an increasingly important part of the decision to choose an active or independent living community, leaders in those communities must look at connectivity beyond networking or infrastructure—rather, they must consider the human connectedness in their communities. By helping your residents create strong friendships with their neighbors through events, communication, and involvement you will set yourself apart from the competition. By humanizing your residents, you will make them feel more welcome and more likely to stay in their homes and most importantly, living their best lives.


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