Benefits of Technology in Senior Living Communities

Modernizing and upgrading technology in senior living communities offers myriad benefits in the daily lives of residents and staff alike. Along with creating a great environment for residents, technology geared toward improving each resident's overall experience and quality of life is one key to many assisted or independent living solutions for seniors.

From simplified meal planning to more efficient staff workflows, there are many ways modern assisted living technologies support staff and offer personalized care to enhance the quality of life for senior citizens. The right technology can help senior living communities give residents the personalized experiences they deserve and expect.

Streamlined Meal Ordering and Delivery

Mealtimes in senior living organizations can present unique challenges for residents and staff. Some residents might be unsure of their menu choices, have special dietary needs, or have care restrictions that make ordering difficult or stressful. These issues can create logistical and delivery challenges for staff that can hamper morale, decrease work satisfaction, and lead to burnout.

Communities can make dining safe and stress-free by adopting technology that integrates with existing electronic health record (EHR) systems. These tools automatically pull real-time resident data before approving food orders. For example, they can flag allergies and dietary restrictions or share information like room numbers and birthdays. That way, staff will never have to worry about accidentally serving a delicious salmon dinner to a resident with fish allergies or delivering a piece of birthday cake on the wrong day.

These tools also streamline the food ordering process for cooks and other dining staff. Employees no longer need to spend time frantically scribbling orders on handwritten pads — and crossing them out when residents decide another meal looks more appealing. Instead, seniors can place and edit orders on smart devices, either independently or with the help of staff, and transmit them directly to the kitchen. This time-saving feature allows employees to spend less time dashing back and forth across the dining hall and more time attending to resident care.

Additionally, senior living technology can personalize the dining experience. Cooks can quickly consult each resident's food preferences during meal prep, so they'll always know which seniors prefer Italian dressing and which love ranch. And electronic menus provide vibrant pictures and clear descriptions of meals, so residents can make their dining choices more easily and confidently. Seniors who get the meals they expect and enjoy are more likely to finish their food, ensuring they get essential nutrients.

Most importantly, meal-ordering technology improves the resident experience by empowering them to make their own choices. They can control their dining experience by ordering the food they want and including notes to help the cook perfect their order. They can also easily consult their meal plan balances, so they don't have to worry about making mistakes. This convenient technology can transform mealtime into a relaxing social experience for residents instead of a daily source of stress.

Innovative Cooking Technologies

Technology solutions that allow residents to order in advance help kitchen staff reduce food waste while continuing to offer a wide variety of specially prepared meals.

Communities that use modern technology and smart devices in their production kitchens can better prepare and cook delicious food to fulfill each resident's dietary needs since they'll have easy access to each resident's custom meal plans. Access to allergy information, nutritional requirements, and ingredient preferences helps kitchen staff create meals to satisfy residents' individual tastes and health needs.

Customizable menus, easy-to-follow recipes, and weekly ordering guides simplify staff workload and ensure residents receive a fresh and diverse menu.

Enhanced Dining Atmosphere and Ambience

Increasing numbers of senior living communities are shifting away from traditional dining rooms and in favor of multiple, restaurant-style meal spaces. More and more residents can choose to have a grab-and-go or bistro-style breakfast, a fast-casual lunch, or sit down to a fine dining experience for dinner. Multiple dining options like these can give them a greater sense of freedom, choice, and satisfaction during their meals.

Improved Nutrition and Personalized Meal Plans

Getting residents the nutrition they need to stay healthy and active is essential. However, keeping accurate, up-to-date records of each resident's unique dietary needs and food preferences can be challenging, especially if meal tickets are written by hand.

Digital menus using smart technologies are easy to change, customize, and update with weekly or seasonal offerings. Personalized resident profiles that pull data right from their EHR help staff follow custom meal plans and deliver nutritionally appropriate meals suited to each resident's taste. With the right tools, staff can get alerts or require manager approval when a resident orders something they can't have.

Technology in senior living communities encourages quality living by organizing and promoting menus designed for individualized nutritional care. From gluten-free and vegan options to heart-healthy or brain-boosting ingredients, staff can ensure each resident is following the best diet for their unique needs.

Social Engagement and Inclusivity

Maintaining friendships and relationships is important for people of every age, but keeping an active social life can be challenging for residents if they don't have the proper support. Senior care technology solutions that foster social interactions and feelings of inclusivity can have significant impacts on residents' quality of life.

Several studies have shown that seniors who live and eat alone are more likely to experience negative health effects such as:

  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cognitive decline

On the other hand, seniors living in independent or assisted living communities that encourage social connections are more likely to have higher self-esteem, improved moods, better health outcomes, and generally live longer lives.

Communities that implement dining technology like digital menus take some of the stress out of ordering, allowing residents to better enjoy their time together while eating, and allow staff to provide more personalized experiences for each resident.

Staff Efficiency and Training

Competent and well-educated staff are the heart, soul, and driving force behind resident satisfaction and the community's success.

Unfortunately, over 70% of assisted living communities reported understaffing in recent years due to a lack of interested or qualified candidates. Integrated technology solutions address this issue in three key areas.

Digital Scheduling and Task Management

Traditional paper schedules stuck to the employee break room wall should be relegated to relics from the past. Upgrading technology so employees can easily access their work schedules and daily tasks on smart devices will help clarify employee responsibilities and ensure residents get consistent, reliable care.

Effective scheduling and task management allows staff to focus more on residents and less on pencil-pushing administrative tasks.

Online Training and Certification Programs 

Smart devices and technology for assisted living communities offer platforms for convenient and accessible training and certification programs. Opportunities for staff to better their skillsets and further their careers have the potential to improve morale, increase efficiency, and reduce employee turnover.

Real-Time Communication and Collaboration Tools

Implementing technology that helps employees quickly share information and work together offers several valuable benefits, including:

  • Up-to-date resident records
  • Reduced medical or clerical errors
  • Greater personalized care
  • Increased staff efficiency
  • Improved resident satisfaction and health outcomes

Embrace the Future of Dining in Senior Living Communities

Investing in modern technology built to support staff and satisfy residents is the next step for success in senior living communities. Independent and assisted living technology companies like eMenuCHOICE are revolutionizing the senior living industry through innovative, resident-focused technology solutions.

Senior living residents deserve quality living arrangements that not only meet their needs but exceed their expectations. Embrace the future, and contact eMenuCHOICE today to request a demo. See for yourself the incredible impact technology investments can make in the daily lives of your staff and residents.

Get Awesome Content Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!

Recent Blog Posts

How The Waters Senior Living used...

Food costs can be a significant challenge for senior living communities, especially during times of...


Case Study: Partner with eMenuCHOICE to...

In a recent meeting with Taylor Richey, VP of Food and Beverage at Civitas Senior Living, we...


How To Accommodate Senior Living Dietary...

Residents often view mealtimes as a cherished part of daily living. Every dining experience is an...