28Nov2016

ESCO Technologies and Santa for Seniors

present-red-bow

With the holidays upon us we thought we’d like to share a little bit about a program that a couple of great ESCO employees began two years ago.  Recognizing the fact that not every resident in the senior living communities we serve has family and friends close by during the holidays, Tracy Hulse and Lindsey Marshall worked together to try to bridge that gap.  They decided that since ESCO is in the business of providing great customer service to senior citizens, we should take it even farther and brighten their holiday experience.

Tracy and Lindsey took the initiative and organized a company wide gift drive for our communities.  They collected various self-care items from the ESCO team and organized them into festive gift bags.  These bags were then distributed to various seniors living in our communities that needed holiday cheer.

Here’s a glimpse of ESCO’s previous Santa for Senior projects in action

adopt-a-senior-3  adopt-a-senior-2

This year, the program is expected to be bigger and better than ever before.  In lieu of donations, our Santa for Seniors team is accepting cash donations.  The donations will be used to purchase the presents for each senior’s holiday gift bag.  Each item will then be hand selected by our Santa team and thoughtfully arranged into equal, standardized gift bags for our seniors.

In addition to the items purchased, a hand crafted ornament is included in each gift bag – adding a personal touch to the entire experience.  ESCO employees truly care about the seniors we serve, and we like to show it.  Check back with us in a few weeks for pictures from this year’s Santa for a Senior at ESCO Technologies!

star-ornaments

21Nov2016

3 Major Tech Mistakes Your Senior Living Community Should Avoid

Making sound technology decisions is a business imperative. The right investment has the potential to drive big profits if timed right. A short-sighted or delayed decision could result in missed opportunity or overspending. Of course, technology missteps are made in every industry and serve as welcome “don’t do it this way” reminders for everyone else. For senior living executives or directors looking for such examples in the senior living space, here are four major tech mistakes your senior living community should avoid:

1. Viewing senior technology needs as separate from the mainstream
Studies reveal that, for the most part, seniors have no intention of sitting still and watching the sun go down post-retirement. Some 68% of Americans in their early 70s go online, and 55% have broadband at home according to data computed by the Pew Research Center. In fact, seniors represent a rising subset of users visiting today’s top Internet sites.

  • 13.5 million of Twitter users are 65+
  • 39 million seniors age 65+ own an account on LinkedIn
  • 6.75 million of Pinterest “pinners” are also seniors according to this research

Senior Internet use is not limited, of course, to social networking sites. Just like any member of your senior living community’s caregiving, operational or executive staff, seniors value Internet access as an absolute necessity for many of their daily activities including communicating, networking, entertainment, banking, travel planning, researching and so much more. That said, when building or adding to your community’s technology framework, the list of requirements submitted to your technology vendor should not shortcut seniors in any way.

 2. Getting into technology contracts that limit your flexibility
Contracts that commonly leave many senior community administrators feeling locked-in are cable contracts that include service rollovers (sometimes referred to as “auto-renew” policies) that are easily overlooked. Administrators who don’t understand their cable contracts inside and out can compromise their own flexibility in two ways: by spending money unnecessarily or finding out too late that money budgeted to be invested elsewhere is held up by their cable contract.
What should you look for before signing a cable contract?

  • How long is the contract?
  • What services and/or equipment does it cover?
  • What costs are you assuming “on promotion” and which one’s are set?
  • Must you give notice before terminating your contract? How many days in advance? Are there penalties involved?

3. Forgetting to consider senior-specific technology solutions
Though seniors are quite advanced in terms of technology use, they are still prone to the hazards of age like failing eyesight and hearing, diminishing agility (both mental and physical) and an increased need, at times, for a little more “handholding.”
Not only are there hardware and software add-ons for senior friendly computers, televisions or phones that make a senior’s life a little easier (larger buttons, simplified navigation), there are vendors who offer support staff trained to meet the specialized needs of seniors. These professionals offer a different level of care than a big name, busy mainstream solutions provider might provide due to hard line cost and profitability restraints.

If you’d like to find out more about avoiding common technology mistakes and instead how to make technology truly work for your senior living community, contact us!

7Nov2016

Culinary Trends in Senior Living

steak-and-eggs

For most retired folks, meals are the main focal points of their day. That’s why so many senior living communities put a special emphasis on their menus and dining options.  Seniors want and expect quality dining experiences when they choose to move to a senior living community.  And this trend isn’t going away any time soon; it was number 2 on McKnight’s list of design trends to watch in 2016.

“Older adults’ preferences are revolutionizing fundamental designs related to daily services, such as dining.  Today, they are seeking interactive meal experiences, not just a room in which to eat a meal.” –McKnight’s Senior Living

Today’s seniors are coming from a culture of food snobbery and dining as more of a social experience than a means to an end.  It’s become par for the course to take pictures of a meal’s presentation on the plate before taking the first bite and posting the picture to social media – indicating that this movement is far from slowing down.

banana-pie

These days, most people are used to having dining options galore, and seniors are not likely to voluntarily give that up.

“The race is on in senior housing,” said Andrew Carle, founding director of the senior housing administration program at George Mason University.  “We know the people coming in next really expect more choices, so operators are saying food is going to be a huge competitive advantage.” – the New York Times

Click here to read more from the New York Times about how senior living communities are getting creative and using dining experiences to combat seniors’ decreasing appetites, adapt to taste bud and memory loss, and more.

More evidence that food is a trending subject in senior housing: just this month Sodexo unveiled plans to roll out their Bistro 464 concept to over 100 senior living communities nationwide.  The Bistro is designed to be a supplemental dining service that caters to this generation of seniors that craves more than standard, bland, “hospital” food.  You can read more about the Bistro 464 concept here and here.

If you’re interested in learning about how ESCO Technologies can help your community broadcast your dining menus and services to your residents via InteracTV’s community channel, contact us for a quick chat.

 

Login to your Account