27Jun2017

Technology Concierge & Single Source Solution Convince Wesley Woods To Change Course

“A near disaster.” That’s how Charles Leader, IT Director for Wesley Woods at New Albany, described every previous technology installation at senior living communities run by parent organization Methodist ElderCare (MEC).

Leader has been with MEC for more than two decades, and worked on each of those installations, which include everything from telephone and TV to Internet and emergency call systems for residents.

/Wendell Graves, Executive Director of Wesley Woods, echoed Leader’s concerns. “Between the installers and contractors and cable companies, it was always so difficult to deal with all of the entities we had to bring to the table. A lack of responsiveness by one could cause issues for others.”

Graves and Leader had resigned themselves to another demanding installation for Wesley Woods, a new senior community being built in the Columbus, Ohio area.

“I couldn’t believe there was a bundled product with such a wide scope – particularly one designed for senior communities.” – Wendell Graves, Wesley Woods Executive Director.

That’s when Dawn Schaffner, the COO of MEC, was contacted by Ray Essex of Data Talk Telecom about a solution that would allow them to work with one vendor for their entire suite of technology and entertainment solutions: CareConnect from ESCO Technologies, LLC.

Essex had heard a presentation by ESCO Technologies CEO  Jerry Grove at the annual IDeACOM conference and was immediately interested. And because he was a trusted local partner for MEC, Graves and Leader were interested, too.

Unfortunately, the general contractor for the new location had tentatively awarded contracts to a national vendor for TV, Internet and phone service, and to a local electrical contractor for cabling and nurse call systems.

But after a web presentation by ESCO, Graves and Leader were so impressed with the CareConnect concept that they contacted the general contractor, Corna Kokosing, who was also willing to consider CareConnect.

A few days later, ESCO presented its CareConnect solution to Graves and Leader and Corna Kokosing at the Data Talk offices.

Graves and Leader decided that CareConnect was the ideal solution for Wesley Woods at New Albany. “We had never seen a presentation like this before,” said Leader. “It never occurred to me that one company would handle all the different pieces I have to deal with.”

Graves was equally impressed. “I couldn’t believe there was a bundled product with such a wide scope – particularly one designed for senior communities.”

He was also impressed with the CareConnect Technology Concierge, a CareConnect employee who works onsite several days a week to help residents with everything from initial room setup to connecting a new computer.

“That has always been a problem in our communities,” said Graves. “Whenever there’s an issue, we have to get an IT person, or someone from Resident Services – whoever we can find. Now we can tell residents to make an appointment with the Technology Concierge.”

Approximately 30 days after their initial contact with ESCO, Wesley Woods at New Albany selected the CareConnect suite for its entire range of entertainment and technology solutions – TV, telephone, Internet and emergency call system.

“These things are an essential part of life, not just at senior communities but for everybody,” said Leader. “We have to get it right.”

Wesley Woods at New Albany is scheduled to be completely open in 2017.

26Jun2017

ESCO Technologies Names Drew Allgeier To Head New TechConnect Business Services Division

Liberty Township, OH – ESCO Technologies, LLC, announced it is hiring industry veteran Drew Allgeier to lead the company’s new TechConnect division, devoted to providing local technical support services to senior living properties across the country.

TechConnect builds on ESCO’s experience with the award-winning CareConnect managed services solution, the only integrated entertainment, communication and life safety suite designed specifically for the senior housing market. “As a managed services provider in the senior living space, we’ve seen firsthand the tremendous opportunity to help these communities and organizations by keeping their infrastructure up and running 24/7,” said Lou Lindsey, ESCO’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Lindsey noted that ESCO’s CareConnect solution is known for its unique Technology Concierge, an ESCO employee who works onsite at senior communities, helping staff and residents with setup and day-to-day issues related to CareConnect phone, TV, Internet and wireless calling systems. “TechConnect is a timely and logical extension of our CareConnect portfolio. There’s a growing demand for rapid response technicians, as well as routine IT integration work like cabling or device installation and replacement.”

Allgeier brings 20 years of sales, operations and channel development experience to the ESCO team. Prior to joining ESCO, he was the Executive Director and GM of Contingent Technology Solutions, a Comcast Business Company. “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the ESCO team,” he said. “They have a reputation for delivering innovative products and providing outstanding service, and I’m excited about the opportunity to build upon and extend that legacy.”

Allgeier said his primary responsibility as head of TechConnect will be “to offer our clients the ability to put a field technician onsite at a moment’s notice, anywhere in the country, when ‘smart hands’ troubleshooting is required.”

According to Lindsey, TechConnect will allow ESCO to expand its service offering to existing customers, while also growing market share by scaling ESCO’s ability to deliver superlative service and extremely attractive service level agreements.

“Whenever you need a tech onsite to repair, replace or report, we want you to know that ESCO is ready to respond rapidly, and we are very excited for Drew to lead the charge,” added Lindsey. “We anticipate additional announcements in the near future as we broaden the scope of services and make them available to our channel partners as well.”

 

9May2017

ESCO Technologies Partners With InTouchLink On User-Friendly Communication Platform For Senior Communities

CommunityEngage Simplifies Messaging, Internet Access, Training and More for Residents, Families and Staff

Liberty Township, Ohio and Toronto, Ontario – ESCO Technologies, LLC announced it is partnering with InTouchLink to offer CommunityEngage — a simple, user-friendly communication platform for residents, family and staff of senior communities.

InTouchLink is the premier technology solutions provider to senior housing operators, serving sites throughout Canada and the United States. ESCO’s award-winning CareConnect managed services solution is the only integrated telecommunications suite designed specifically for the senior housing market. It includes residential and business telephone, TV, and Internet, as well as the new Smart E-call wireless nurse call system.

CommunityEngage will be available immediately as a value-added option to CareConnect and will utilize InTouchLink’s patent-pending technology to offer:

  •  A robust communication link between residents and their families
  • An internal messaging tool
  • A complete learning management system for staff
  • A 24/7 community news and information source
  • A simplified, senior-friendly internet and email platform.

“Our two organizations have a shared mission, which is to develop solutions that meet the specific needs of senior living communities,” said ESCO CEO Jerry Grove. “We looked at InTouchLink’s outstanding technology and felt it was a perfect complement to CareConnect.”

“Everyone within the senior care environment deserves to be connected,” said Jonathan Seliger, Vice President, InTouchLink. “That includes not only residents, but also their families — and the staff who serve them. CommunityEngage, along with the rest of the CareConnect suite, delivers on that goal.”

The addition of CommunityEngage comes just weeks after ESCO announced it was acquiring ERS E-call, whose patented nurse call technology it used to develop CareConnect’s Smart E-call system.

“This is another key step in our multi-year growth strategy, aimed at making us the foremost one-stop technology solution for senior living,” said Grove.

About ESCO Technologies

ESCO Technologies is the nation’s exclusive provider of an integrated suite of wholesale communications and entertainment solutions for the senior living industry through its award-winning CareConnect product. The company also offers innovative telecommunications services for businesses and consumers, such as the Ubiquity Mobile cellphone service. For more information, visit careconnectbyesco.com.

About InTouchLink

InTouchLink is North America’s leading provider of technology for senior housing communities. Its suite of custom-designed senior-friendly products have been tailor-made for retirement communities, long-term care homes, skilled nursing facilities and other senior living environments and include digital signagededicated community TV channels, TV-based and online staff training, simple emailsafe internet and and much more. For more information, visit http://www1.intouchlink.com .

 

 

 

18Apr2017

Is Your Senior Living Technology Relevant to Today’s Seniors?

Technology makes our lives easier and continues to advance and make a greater impact as time goes on.  Even in the senior living industry, not staying on top of current technology trends can be detrimental to business.  If you haven’t taken stock of how your community is comparing to others in your area, you should.  Here’s a short list of where to compare your community’s technology capabilities with your competitors and why it’s important to make sure your community measures up.

TV Service:  The desire for options in modern senior living can’t be stressed enough. Today’s aging population is accustomed to television options that go beyond the standard select channels. With the growth of digital cable and networks for every topic imaginable, seniors expect more advanced entertainment options.For even more customization, interactive senior television takes resident engagement to the next level. With a program like InteracTV, residents’ TV experience is a two-way street. They can enjoy their favorite shows while also viewing upcoming community events, scheduling appointments or ordering takeout.

Safety:  Nothing shows your community’s commitment to residents like solid safety precautions. With modern safety technology, like wireless nurse call systems, residents are not only safer, but your community is also more efficient. With a wireless nurse call system, wireless pendants allow staff to discretely track activity patterns and monitor medical needs, alerting them to health issues as they arise. This technology also give residents a sense of security knowing they are protected across the entire campus, and can quickly get the help they need in case of an emergency.

Internet Connection:  Having weak, slow internet is unacceptable these days.  Fast internet connections are required for facetiming with loved ones and streaming videos and music.  Seniors are looking for ways to stay connected to the world after they make the move to a senior living community.  If your community can’t provide the kind of internet connection necessary, potential residents are going to turn to a community that can.

The choice to upgrade senior living technology can be daunting. But not having the important discussions to take the right next steps can stunt growth and the ability to remain competitive. Contact us to find out how ESCO Technologies can help you find the best approach to evaluate your current senior living technology and illustrate what streamlined senior TV, Internet, phone and life safety systems can mean for your community.

29Mar2017

ESCO Technologies Acquires Emergency Response Solutions

Move Will Further Enhance ESCOs Award-Winning CareConnect Managed Services Solution for Senior Communities

Liberty Township, OH – ESCO Technologies, LLC announced it is acquiring Emergency Response Solutions (ERS), maker of ERS ECall. ERS Ecall is an Inovonics-based system with patented smartphone integration technology.

“The addition of ERS’s patented interactive wireless life safety communications system will certainly make ESCO a top contender for the emergency call system of choice in the senior living industry,” said Mike Halverson CEO president of ERS.

This move will allow ESCO to provide its own enhanced e-call product as part of its CareConnect managed services solution. CareConnect is the only integrated telecommunications suite designed specifically for the senior housing market, and includes residential and business telephone, TV, and Internet, as well as wireless nurse call systems such as ERS Ecall.

“One of the key elements to our continued success is having control of the technology that we deploy,” said ESCO CEO Jerry Grove. “Nurse call systems were the foundation of CareConnect. Acquiring ERS gives us the opportunity to bring the technology in-house and make it a truly seamless part of the CareConnect solution.”

ERS has been a pioneer in e-call technology and has over 50 years of experience in the security/life safety field, from product design to sales and service. Grove said the company plans to enhance ERS Ecall to better integrate it with CareConnect’s senior-friendly design and focus. Planned enhancements include:

  • Integration with CareConnect television service,
  • Integration with CareConnect’s managed TV remote, and
  • Free Wifi calling with a smartphone interface.
  • Android and/or Apple devices for caregivers to receive alerts with automatic updated reports and documentation.

The enhanced product will become the cornerstone of CareConnect Managed Ecall. This managed service solution that will include onsite support from CareConnect’s unique Technology Concierge, an ESCO employee who works onsite in senior communities to support CareConnect. The Technology Concierge will set up residents with their Ecall pendants and will monitor the system’s battery alert and replace batteries as needed – a critical step that can literally mean the difference between life or death.

The Technology Concierge will also perform regular system audits to check for issues like missing devices, as well as monthly testing of critical components – all tasks that would otherwise fall on overworked community staff.

Grove noted that the acquisition of ERS is just the latest major strategic investment by ESCO.

“Over the past 18 months, we’ve invested in larger office space, warehouse facilities and our NOC (network operations center),” he said. “And we have several more initiatives in the pipeline that we’ll announce soon. This reflects our growth strategy and commitment to being the premier single-source technology solution for senior living.”

CareConnect Managed Ecall is expected to be available for CareConnect customers immediately. ESCO will also begin work immediately on the planned product enhancement road map as the company strives to deliver unique features that customers have requested.

About ESCO Technologies

ESCO Technologies is the nation’s exclusive provider of an integrated suite of wholesale communications and entertainment solutions for the senior living industry through its award winning CareConnect product. The company also offers innovative telecommunications services for businesses and consumers, such as the Ubiquity Mobile cellphone service. For more information, visit careconnectbyesco.com.

 

24Mar2017

ESCO Technologies, Harbor Networks and Nauset Construction Form Unique Technology Partnership For Senior Housing

Alliance Will Bring Best-In-Class Managed Technology Solution to New Senior Community Construction Projects

Liberty Township, OH; Framingham, MA; Needham, MA – ESCO Technologies, LLC, Harbor Networks, Inc., and Nauset Construction announced they have partnered on a single-source managed services solution geared to new construction in the senior housing market.

The single-source solution will feature ESCO’s CareConnect – the only integrated telecommunications suite designed specifically for the senior housing market. It includes residential and business telephone, TV, Internet and nurse call/safety systems.

Along with customized technology, CareConnect also offers a unique “high-touch” service – the Technology Concierge. The Technology Concierge is an ESCO employee who works onsite at senior communities, assisting with everything from new resident setup to day-to-day questions like how to connect a new TV.

The partnership brings together the three distinct elements that go into the technology infrastructure of complex projects such as senior living communities: designing, building and implementation. Harbor Networks provides business consultation services for voice and data communications technologies. Nauset Construction is a construction management and design-build firm that excels at complex projects on challenging sites with aggressive time and budget requirements.

“It all started at a senior living trade show,” remembered Lou Lindsey, ESCO’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “The crowd at the show was not the right audience for my pitch, so I struck up a conversation with a couple of other vendors. That first discussion turned into many more, and they led us to conclude that we should form a triangular arrangement to capitalize on our strengths.”

Harbor Network’s President, Greg Bertschmann, agreed. “It’s a terrific value proposition for investors and developers. Instead of multiple providers operating in their own silos, you’ve got one team that offers best-in-class builders and technology implementation specialists, and a best-in-class technology solution tailor-made for these types of projects.”

“We’ve been delivering our solution for more than a decade,” said ESCO’s Lindsey. “And staying in sync with the construction and infrastructure side of these projects was always a challenge.”

“You’re talking about a multi-million-dollar investment, and you’re expected to stay, on time, on budget and deliver a resort-style entertainment and life-safety solution,” added Benjamin Goldfarb, VP Business Development of Nauset Construction. “You can save time and money if you have a seamless flow of information between all the players. Plus, I don’t think you could assemble another team that had the combined expertise we’re offering.”

About ESCO Technologies

ESCO Technologies is the nation’s exclusive provider of an integrated suite of wholesale communications and entertainment solutions for the senior living industry through its award winning CareConnect product. The company also offers innovative telecommunications services for businesses and consumers, such as the Ubiquity Mobile cellphone service. For more information, visit careconnectbyesco.com.

 About Harbor Networks

Harbor Networks is a communications systems integrator and managed solutions provider that offers business consultation services for voice and data communications technologies. Harbor Networks partners with resellers and solutions providers worldwide and has established a footprint in national and international theatres, with customers in 43 states and 15 countries. For more information, visit www.harbornetworks.com.

About Nauset Construction

Nauset Construction is a construction management and design-build firm run by industry veterans with a shared goal of providing an unparalleled positive client experience. Known for taking a collaborative approach throughout the project cycle, Nauset provides creative ideas and alternative methods that reduce cost and increase value to its clients, while creating lasting relationships. For more information, visit www.nausetconstruction.com.

 

 

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!

21Oct2016

The Best Tips For Seniors Looking For Post-Retirement Employment

By Jim Vogel, ElderAction.org

vogel-blog-2-photo

Many seniors find that they want to remain employed after retirement, either because they choose to remain active and vital in the workforce or because they need the extra income. And while finding a job isn’t difficult for some, others find it hard to make the move to a new workplace after years–perhaps even decades–working for the same employer.

One thing to keep in mind is that now, you can focus on something you love to do rather than on something you have to do. If you’ve always been interested in something but never had the time to try it, such as photography, now is the time! Branch out and get creative, because if you don’t, you’ll never know what you might be good at.

Here are a few tips on how to find the best job for you post-retirement.

Get creative

Many people have a creative spirit, but if they never take the time to explore or advance it, that creativity will get lost in the shuffle of everyday life. Others express their creativity in ways that don’t include making art but are creative all the same, such as cooking or baking. If you have a passion for something and you’re good at it, consider turning it into a new profession. Photography, culinary skills, painting, woodworking, and sewing are just a few examples of ways you can put your creativity to work and make extra money while doing something you already love.

Retail

Retail can be hard work physically–lots of hours on your feet–but it’s a great option for seniors because it allows for a flexible schedule. If you have availability around the holidays, many stores keep an eye out for seasonal help, which means you might only work so many weeks out of the year.

Bookkeeping

If you had experience at your former job working with numbers, there’s a wonderful market out there for bookkeepers who know what they’re doing. If you’re a CPA, you might find placement with an agency, or there’s always the work-from-home option. Around tax season, advertise your services so people in your neighborhood know they can come to you when the big agencies are packed.

Tour guide

If you’re knowledgeable about your town and its history, consider finding work as a tour guide. Colleges are usually in need of such an individual, as are museums, hotels, tour boats, and historical sites. Do some research on your area to see if you might be interested in sharing your knowledge with the public.

Real estate

It will take some classes and a bit of learning, but if you’re interested in getting into the world of real estate, there’s money to be made. Helping families find the right home is a very rewarding job and allows you to be social while mostly setting your own schedule.

Make the most of your retirement by doing something you enjoy, and don’t forget to keep an open mind and have fun!

12Oct2016

Ubiquity Mobile Turns Executive Director’s Cellphone Into Her Office Phone – Case Study

Background:

ubiquity-mobile-screen-1When you’re the Executive Director of a thriving senior community, it’s important to stay in touch. Even when you’re not in your office, which can be often.

Of course, Kelli Tyler of Brownsboro Park has a cellphone. But many of her staff and other business associates, not to mention the residents of the community, use her office number to reach her. She faced the same dilemma as countless other busy professionals: either give everyone your cellphone number, or miss calls and check for messages frequently.

The Challenge:

Brownsboro Park has community-wide telephone service – along with Internet service and a nurse call system – through ESCO Technologies’ integrated CareConnect suite designed specifically for senior communities.

The CareConnect phone service offers all the resort-style features that residents (and staff) expect in an upscale community like Brownsboro Park, including call waiting and caller ID, and extension dialing.

So it’s easy for anyone in the community to dial Kelli’s extension whenever they want to reach her. Except when she’s not in the office.

That is, until she began using ESCO’s Ubiquity Mobile telephone service.

The Outcome:

“I love the ability to look through the list, and call residents back on their extensions, even if I’m at home.”

– Kelli Tyler, Executive Director, Brownsboro Park

Ubiquity Mobile is a cellphone service that allows both residents and staff to make free cellphone calls through the CareConnect WiFi network whenever they’re on premise. That means fewer minutes charged to their calling plans. And no more worries about poor cellphone coverage or “dead zones” around the campus.

But even more important for Kelli, she can use Ubiquity Mobile to receive calls to her office phone on her cellphone. “When I have the Ubiquity app activated, it turns my cellphone into my office phone,” Kelli explained. “I can catch calls I would have missed.”

Kellie likes the user-friendly interface, and the many features of the service – like its caller log and its contacts list that allows her to quickly call anyone on the CareConnect telephone system at Brownsboro Park.

Ubiquity Mobile not only works on cellphones; it also works on other devices like tablet computers. So Brownsboro Park has begun encouraging the drivers who take residents offsite to use the app on their tablets.

“Right now, they’re using cellphones and tablets. Our goal is to get to the point where everything can be done through the tablets,” said Kelli. “It’s just a question of educating them.”

“Once you’re accustomed to using it, it’s really easy.”

26Sep2016

Staying Active And Vital: How Seniors Can Feel Young And Healthy

By Jim Vogel, ElderAction.org

staying-active-photo1

Photo via Pixabay by Misign

Retirement can be a time for relaxing, traveling, and spending weekends with the grandkids, but for many, it can be a lonely transition from an active life. It’s important for seniors to maintain things socially, to stay active and fit, and to find activities that they enjoy doing so that they can stay happy and vital.

As long as an individual is physically able, daily exercise should be a priority. Not only does it help us stay fit, it can benefit joint health, stress levels, and anxiety, and it’s something that can often be done with others in a social setting. Getting up and moving is hugely beneficial to both the body and mind; it’s recommended for those battling depression because exercising releases chemicals in the brain that make the individual feel happy, and it also allows the person to focus on the present moment rather than worrying about the future or ruminating on the past.

Here are some of the best ways to stay active after retirement.

Gardening

It may not sound like exercise, but gardening is pretty labor intensive and requires a lot of energy, especially in warmer months. You’ll get the added benefit of reaping the rewards come harvest time if you choose to plant veggies. Just be sure to wear light, breathable clothing in layers and wear a hat and sunscreen anytime you’re outdoors. Bug spray isn’t a bad idea, either, especially in these times of the Zika virus.

Walking/jogging

Of course, you’ll only want to walk or jog on a well-maintained trail to avoid falls, and make sure to wear good sturdy shoes and stay hydrated. Choose a park that has plenty of benches or rest areas so that if you get overheated or tired, you can sit down and take a break. This is an activity you could do with friends or even a small group, so you can be social while you get in a workout.

Swimming/water activities

Check with your local YMCA or public pool to see if there are classes available for senior activities, or just set certain days to go for a swim. Being in the water is calming and the weightless feeling helps you move more easily than you would on land, making it beneficial for joint pain.

Play with pets

Dogs can be a big source of comfort and fun for seniors; studies have shown that petting a calm dog can possibly lower blood pressure and stress levels. They are also great companions when it’s time for a workout. If you don’t own a dog, consider looking into dog walking or boarding through a site like Rover.com, which pairs up pet owners with responsible caregivers who can come let the animal out while they’re at work or out of town.

Staying active and healthy can help seniors feel they are their best selves, and it can also help push back the aches and pains that come with age. While safety is always a priority, it’s important to do what you can to feel good and get moving.

Jim Vogel created ElderAction.org along with his wife after they became caregivers for their aging parents. The site is dedicated to promoting senior health and providing valuable information to seniors and their caregivers to help ensure our nation’s seniors are able to thrive throughout their golden years.

 

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