New Technologies Spotlight Health, Wellness and Operations in Senior Living

The senior care tech space continues to develop innovative solutions to help older adults stay active, healthy and engaged with their communities and loved ones afar.

From a mobile app that allows senior living staff to manage work schedules to a pendant that alerts when someone has fallen, developers zero-in on the importance of driving efficiencies and promoting wellness through technology in the senior care industry. Read on:

1. New Mobile App Allows On-the-Go Scheduling for Long-Term Care Staffs

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OnShift, a developer of staff scheduling management software for long-term care and senior living, announced Monday a new mobile app that allows employees to manage their work schedules on-the-go.

The app enables senior living and long-term care staff to access their work schedules at any time, from any mobile device.

OnShift intends that this on-the-go technology will help strike a better home/work-life balance for employees while also providing senior care organizations with higher employee engagement and satisfaction.

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The new OnShift employee-centric mobile app features 24/7 self-scheduling capabilities, including the ability to request open shifts, swap shifts, submit PTO, and set work availability and communication preferences.

Users also receive notifications of new schedules and available shifts, and creates best-fit schedules for both employees and the organization by merging self-scheduling with flexible approval workflows.

“Keeping staff members involved and engaged with their employers is a key priority, as many providers in long-term care and senior living struggle with extreme turnover,” said Mark Woodka, CEO of OnShift. “Everything employees need to manage their schedules is now available at their fingertips, which is a win-win for both staff and employers through greater employee engagement and satisfaction.”

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The OnShift app will be delivered both for the Android and iPhone, and will generally be available later this year, according to the company.

2. Fall Detection Pendant Device Alerts Caregivers when Seniors Cannot

Care Technology Systems, Inc. has developed a personal emergency response system (PERS) devices that can alert caregivers in the event of a fall, all without the user having to press a button for help.

The Active CarePendant is equipped with a tri-axial accelerometer for accurate motion-sensing that detects if something is amiss and sends alerts even if the senior is unable to press the device’s alert button.

To produce the Active CarePendant, Care Tech partnered with Cambridge, Massachusetts-based BioSensics, a developer of wearable healthcare sensors.

With hospitalization costs for falls averaging around $17,500, according to recent statistics, the Active CarePendant can be a solution for senior living communities to avoid preventable hospital visits.

“As they age, become more fragile or live alone, more seniors should wear pendants for their safety,” said Jim Anderson, president of Care Technology Systems. “But even those who do, often can’t respond when they fall. So providing both senior living communities and individual home-based seniors a device that could notify if any fall that occurs—or predict a fall risk—is a huge advantage to ensuring their care and well-being.”

3. Tech Provider Design New Color Schemes for Security Bracelets

RF Technologies, a provider of radio frequency identification and healthcare security devices, has introduced new color designs for its CodeWatch transmitters.

A variety of banding options are now available for the CodeWatch devices, including tamper-resistant, snap-closure banding in blue nylon or durable PVC plastic in gray, green or blue.

The CodeWatch technology integrates with the company’s Code Alert Wandering Management Solution that is used to protect residents in senior living communities.

Residents at risk of elopement wear the small, lightweight transmitter device that communicates with antennae located near doors to secure exits when a resident approaches.

New color schemes for the devices, RF Technologies intends, will help memory care residents living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia embrace having to wear the security device.

“The addition of colorful CodeWatch transmitters and banding is not only a wonderful way to increase acceptance of memory care residents, but they’re something our customers have been asking for,” said Michelle Dalton, marketing director at RF Technologies. “Communities can also let their residents choose which transmitter and banding color they prefer, helping residents embrace the security measure.”

4. Joint Venture Closes $1.85 Million Financing to Grow Cloud-Based Care Model

Independa, Inc., a provider of independent living tech solutions for the elderly, has secured its initial close of $1.85 million of its $2.25 million Series B financing round, in order to continue to grow the company’s CloudCare solutions.

Independa pioneered its integrated cloud-based approach to deliver remote care models that address the needs of individuals across the senior care continuum.

The latest round of financing was led by San Diego-based life sciences and healthcare venture capital firm City Hill Ventures.

The company said it will use the additional financing to continue expanding its each both nationally and globally, as well as accelerate product growth and innovation. Independa also intends to use the financing to invest in additional sales and marketing resources, as well as continuing to engage with strategic partnership opportunities.

“Independa and our partners strive to be life changing for our users, and game changing for the organizations who care for the elderly,” said Kian Saneii, CEO of Independa. “This capital gives us additional resources to expand quickly and strategically into new markets, continue with our unique and award-winning innovations, and meet the rapidly growing demand for our integrated and cost-effective approach to delivering remote care solutions and benefits.”

5. Senior Living Provider Launches ConnectedLiving at All South Carolina Properties

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Senior Living Communities announced it has launched ConnectedLiving, a cloud-based social platform, at all of its properties in South Carolina.

ConnectedLiving brings seniors, their families and community administrators together in a private online community. Residents can use the social platform to email, share pictures, video chat, shop and search the web.

The technology also integrates social networking, distance learning, community menus and calendars, along with an extensive administrator dashboard to help get entire communities online and connected.

An added benefit to rolling out ConnectedLiving will be helping seniors gain new computer skills, which will also help keep residents active, says Katie Huffstetler, vice president of operations at Senior Living Communities.

“Older adults continue to have a growing technology presence,” says Huffstetler. “It keeps them active and connected with loved ones, near and far. Senior Living Communities is excited to partner with ConnectedLiving and their goal of bringing easy-to-use, secure technology to older adults.”

ConnectedLiving will be in the communities weekly to offer enrichment programming, computer learning and one-on-one support for residents.

The ConnectedLiving program is now available at Senior Living Communities in South Carolina, such as The Lakes at Litchfield in Pawleys Island; Brightwater in Myrtle Beach; Cascades Verdae in Greenville; and Summit Hills in Spartanburg.

The South Carolina properties represent four of Senior Living Communities’ nine residences nationwide.

Written by Jason Oliva

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