Centers for healthy living (CHL) have become quite popular in the senior housing industry. The purpose of a CHL is to bridge the gap between senior living and healthcare. These centers enrich the lives of residents by promoting mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. A CHL might be a single center within a community, or simply a collection of programs. The emphasis is on whole person wellness. Technology is playing an increasing role in the success of CHL. Here are a few of the popular tech innovations being implemented in these centers.
First, let’s examine the holistic nature of centers for healthy living. While physical activity is certainly an important part of well-being, there are actually eight dimensions of wellness which a CHL operator takes into consideration.
Tech in CHL
Also referred to as a smart key, a key fob is a small programmable gadget that provides access to a physical device. In CHL environments, it is typically used in conjunction with exercise equipment. It allows residents to track their workout progress and create individualized exercise plans.
These highly engaging devices encourage seniors to focus on health and wellness. They track physical activity and can even communicate with physicians to share applicable data. Residents become more accountable for their own health and may enjoy a bit of friendly competition. Wearable devices are typically small and inconspicuous. The FitBit is probably the most popular among seniors because it is extremely user-friendly and has numerous practical features.
Voice activated; community-specific artificial intelligence is being implemented to assist residents with information about the events and activities within the community. For example, a resident might ask, “What time is yoga class tomorrow?” Or, “What is on the menu for dinner this evening?” The AI ties directly into a community database. This technology is incredibly useful to residents, as they can simply speak their questions and receive quick, concise answers. Amazon Alexa and Google home devices are the two most commonly used AI assistance. Placing these devices in common areas throughout a community allows residents easy access to information.
Keeping the mind active is an essential part of wellness. Education programs utilizing cutting-edge technologies are making a significant impact on seniors. These programs include virtual field trips, real-time tours, and distance-learning classrooms. The tech involved incorporates high-speed Internet access, high-definition televisions, apps on smart devices, and sometimes even virtual reality glasses.
Some senior living communities offer CHL services to individuals living in the surrounding neighborhoods. This provides some extra revenue and more opportunities for residents to socialize with the wider community. With people becoming more health conscious, it’s no surprise that the CHL movement has taken hold in senior care. The benefits of a whole person approach to wellness are too numerous to count. Hopefully, the trend toward a fit lifestyle will continue, allowing seniors to enjoy longer, happier, and healthier lives.