Profile Picture
The senior living industry has a voice. You can hear it on Bridge the Gap podcast!

#ActivitiesStrong 13

Resident engagement has become a core business senior living priority, is foundational to person-centered care and has been shown to be effective for decades and yet remains the least managed side of our senior living operations. Asked about how they manage life enrichment, 90%+ of senior living professionals will describe a person-centered approach that uses the Wellness model and a passionate team of professionals – but will lack evidence on business processes to improve, data to measure and manage and an organization-wide framework to advance resident engagement.

This session will provide nationwide benchmarks, showcase easy to implement tools such as the SWOT framework, the newly developed Elder Engagement Performance Index (EEPI) and lessons from the trenches on how providers may shift the paradigm to improve resident engagement, maximize the quality of life and finally get credit for life enrichment from other departments, as well as existing and prospective family members.


Welcome everyone. Echoing what Meaghan said, welcome to this first Activities Strong webinar from 2022. Welcome to 2022. This is our first again, first webinar of the year, January 4th. And it’s a great pleasure to be with all of you so welcome. Please enjoy the chat feature, enjoy the education session. A quick note about the chat feature, which is that if you want to chat with everyone feel free to select the ‘everyone’ option from the dropdown today. It’s a great pleasure of mine to welcome all of you and to start by sharing a few ideas with you before we get into our education session, which is at the end of last year, we ran a quick survey from activity and life enrichment professional, resident engagement professionals, trying to understand what they were wishing for other professionals, I and you. 


And as you can see from this little word cloud, this bubble, these were the main things that came out of it. And as you might know, at Linked Senior and with Activities Strong, we love data. So we went one step further and to try to really understand what you are all, or what we are all wishing for one another, as we start this this new year. And it’s interesting to see that as you can, from this chart, respect by far is on top of the list. The pandemic, obviously COVID 19 to go away is right there also. And then obviously things that we really hope to get more from which are help from other departments, self care education and, and obviously technology to help us in our day. So I think that these are very interesting.


The other thing that we wanted to share with you from Linked Senior perspective was with what we really want to put in front of you, our wishes is, and that is simply ‘May the age be with you.’ And so you’ll recognize, you know probably the words from Yoda which says ‘may the force be with you.’ But I think from my personal standpoint like Megan said my name is Charles deVilmorin and I’m the CEO and co-founder of Linked Senior. We’ve always been very passionate about engagement. We’ve always been very passionate about activity directors and life enrichment professionals like you, and none of us ever thought that this pandemic would last so long. None of us thought that these times would be so challenging, whether it’s the pandemic itself, whether it’s the staffing crisis that we’re going through, whether it’s just the fact that we’re simply burned out and, and tired.


And I think it’s important sometimes to remember why we’re here, right? Why do we keep on going? And I wish to be honest, that I had you know, kind of a silver, like a crystal board, I think you say American English, like a way for a way to tell you that the future is going to be like this this and like that. And unfortunately, no one of us have that. But one thing that I would share with you is my personal belief, our personal belief at Linked Senior with every professional that I speak to is things are going to improve. That’s one thing. And the second thing is we have done, you all have done amazing work, alright. I always share the fact that the industry that has been the most affected by this COVID 19 crisis by far is senior living.


And by far is your work and what you have done in the last 18 months or more is just amazing. I’m very proud of being able to know many of you, to work with many of you. And I can tell you that obviously eventually things will get better. I think that us working together is the solution. And so with this, as we start this 2022 year,  my wish is for all of us to continue coming together, it is for us to continue collaborating. I have never seen a profession collaborate so much than the activity director profession. And in the end, may the age be with you. Because this is what drives us. This is why we show up at work. This is why we log what we do and is why I personally love working with you.


So from my heart, from my team, from my family, again, to all of you, thank you for what you do, may the age be with you and let us carry on, continue working together because we deserve it. Our elders deserve it. And again, engagement is essential. So with that let me kind of dive into the presentation that we had prepared for you. Again, this is an Activities Strong executive edition. The idea of this executive edition is to elevate the discussion about resident engagement with anyone in other departments, but also with everyone within our organization. And the idea is to invite elevate the discussion. So if you are an administrator and executive director, thank you for taking the time of being with us today, it means that you value you personally, and your organization values engagement, and we want to be thankful for that.


We want to thank you for that. As a reminder, Activities Strong is a platform led and started by Linked Senior in partnership with Activity Connection, NAP, and NCAPP. And the idea of this first webinar of the year is for us to share with you thoughts about where we believe engagement is and share with you best practices so we can continue to collaborate. As Meaghan shared, my name is Charles. I’m the senior co-founder of Linked Senior. This is my quick bio, but I think that there are a couple things that are really important about Linked Senior and the work that we do. We started seven years ago this platform called Old People are Cool because, well one, we’re not fan of this discrimination, segregation based on age. And two, we just believe that everybody is caught including our elders. And as I mentioned, activity strong is this platform that we started at the beginning of COVID 19.


Really the essence of this platform, the essence of this work is one to acknowledge the amazing work that we all do, that you all do, but also to empower you and to educate you so that you can turn around and again, improve the life of the elders that you serve. Just to give you a little bit of background on who we are, Linked Senior is a resident engagement platform for the senior living industry. So today we touched the lives of 45,000 organizations through leading organizations, some of which you can see on this particular slide. The one common denominator with all of these organizations listed here and beyond is the fact that they value their staff and they value, and they care for their residents. So you can see, we work with independent living, assisted living, memory care and nursing home providers. And essentially what we do our work is simply resident engagement, right?


We provide different types of services, including technology education, and what we help you do is elevate human touch. We’re very proud of our work. We’re very proud that it’s it’s measured. It’s actually proven. We had a clinical study that was published in a peer review journal in 2019. And if you have any interest in elevating engagement, we would love to have a conversation with you. So with that, let me dive into our program today. As I mentioned with you, we we’re trying to keep track of the chat feature as you can see, it’s probably busy. If you have a specific question for me, the presenter today, please feel free to either drop it in the chat. And I’ll try to look at it as much as possible, but I will also check the Q and A feature of Zoom.


So with that let’s dive right into it. What I thought we could do, and the way we could spend our time together today is just kind of a quick introduction, just one or two slides about what we are up to in terms of resident engagement and then go into the quote, unquote ‘program,’ which is where do we stand in terms of engagement? Number three is probably the essence of what I want to share with you, which is new thoughts, new ideas in terms of how engagement is unfolding and how to improve it. And ultimately the future of our work, which is this whole idea of the social prescription model. So I think the best way to start, and this is probably, for some of you that are returning on our webinar, something that I’ve been highlighting for years now, which is that the firm belief that finding meaning and purpose is a basic human right.


And I think that sitting it this way is very important for us to one, remember the work that we do right in activity and life enrichment. We are the advocates. We are the defenders. We are the people that are here to promote and ensure that our elders find meaning and purpose. And the reason why I think it’s also important, the second reason, I think it’s important to reminding ourselves that it’s a basic human rights. It also plays in a certain degree of importance, right? We know that as humans, we have a set of basic rights and sometimes unfortunately activities and life enrichment aren’t respected enough, as you can see from our wishes, this was by far the thing that was most requested or the worst wished for. I think that if you put this in perspective, explaining that our work is a human right, obviously gives the whole other dimension.


And that inspires respect if you go into the next step, which is that the next thought, which is what is resident engagement and how does it function? The simplest way of explaining it, the simple simplest way of boiling it down is resident engagement, activities, and life enrichment is essentially collaborating with our elders, right? It’s really important when we think about the tenants of person-centered care, some of these core ideas promoted by the pioneer network, the idea that we are here to collaborate, to listen to our elders, to meet them every day, where they are, right. This is a principle of the validation training Institute, the validation method. We want to meet our residents, our elders, where they are, so we can think about honoring their preferences. And so in turn they can live every day with purpose.


So with that being said, and again repeating, again the importance of engagement, let’s take it through today’s program with our first section, which is basically what is the state of resident engagement? And some of you might know that we have been doing this webinar series years before actually Activity Strong started. I think we’re now into our fourth year. We always promoted the idea that engagement perse is difficult, but there are definitely best practices out there. So what I did to prepare for today’s session is that I looked back to at years is worth of presentation and boiled down some of the key components that we know already existed, and obviously through the pandemic have been set forth and highlighted and actually become so much more important. And I think that the best way to start is to say that initially, and it’s still, obviously very much the case engagement, what you all do, is super challenging, right?


I speak to activity professionals every single day, and that I think that none of us as activity professional or life enrichment professionals can say, “yeah, today, my day’s super easy. My work is already done. I can leave at noon.” It’s quite the opposite, which is that we always have something else to do. We always have ways to improve and in many situations, the work that you all do is very very challenging when you think about it from the staffing ratio, but also the fact that the bulk of our elders need to stay us to stay engaged. Because there are different stages in terms of cognitive or physical journey. That preferences are all unique because they’re different unique individuals. And because of the tools we have sometimes, I mean, I personally argue that it’s a it’s an almost possible task. And this is very much represented in the data.


When you look at data pre COVID, I’m sure that some of you might have seen this report because we repeatedly advocate for more and better programming. Before COVID, we were only engaging our residents in the nursing home settings, 11 minutes per day, and in assisted living only 20 minutes a day. And obviously this begs the question, which is alright, the quantity isn’t great, but what about the quality? And I think that all of us would agree that there’s definitely ways to improve. There’s definitely ways to improve, not only the quantity and the quality of programming. Now, that is the situation pre COVID, right. And so, as COVID unfolds and I don’t need to remind us how difficult it is. I think that for most of us in the U.S. and Canada, we’re going through a fifth wave now. 


It’s just made our jobs sometimes impossible. I’ve talked to many providers in the past almost two years now that have mentioned to us that sometimes for days, sometimes weeks, it was impossible for them to provide meaningful engagement to their residents. We ran a survey with almost 400 professionals in October of 2021. And we basically, as a result saw that a only 15% of you professionals are able to engage the majority of your residents in a meaningful way, right. And this is a problem because we as an industry ought to do better, our elders deserve better. And so if you look at data, and this is a a quick snapshot of a upcoming white paper that we’re releasing initially just exclusively for clients, and then we’ll release it to the rest of I mean to everyone else in the marketplace in February.


But basically, as you can see, the bulk of us are actually very challenged. So 58% of us report that the primary reason for not engaging all of our residents is staffing, 38% is the e social distancing due to the pandemic. This unfortunately has increased since, and then 68% is just the staffing shortages. So with that being said what’s the impact on this? Why is this so important? I mentioned that our residents deserve better. I mean in the end, we know one thing for sure is that social isolation, which is one of the results of this pandemic, is that it’s a huge risk, and it has a huge impact for our elders. Now, as much as this is a issue, I would say that this is also where the silver lining for all of us lie, which is that since April, 2019, we have seen a huge focus, a huge change in terms of perspective when it comes to engagement.


And so a lot of our providers, a lot of our owners and operators now understand the value of engagement now understand the value of your work. And so hopefully some of you have seen the change, but there’s been more investment in technology, more investments in staffing. And obviously we want much more, but there’s definitely a trend. I wanted to share with you more data also, as I mentioned earlier, we love data. We love data with Activities Strong, and I think it’s important to kind of take it down one level and see what can be measured. So this chart here looks at the number of programs that were offered in a representative smaller data set of our clients. And as you can see, so this is the beginning of the pandemic and these arrows show the different waves, as you can see each time a wave comes, obviously the number of programs is reduced, but overall, the trend seems to be that we are offering more programs, right?


So this was a smaller data set. But again, it is representative and this was shared to the public. We share more information with our current clients, but as you can see, there is a quote unquote ‘positive trend.’ If you look at the next level, next set of data, which is the impact of each wave, I thought it was very interesting to see that at the beginning, just before the pandemic started, we on this graph could see in orange a predominance of group programs. When I went through MEPAP one, which is the introductionary course for activity professionals, I remember the course being, so, I mean there was a lot of discussions in room about group programs. And I think that a lot of professionals before COVID were used to running a lot of group programs, which obviously changed, and this can be seen in the data where as soon as April 2019, we’re seeing 50% of programming being delivered through one on ones.


And I think that this is something that is still happening now. When I looked at our data again, that is shared exclusively with our clients for December of 2021. Again, we are seeing a huge increase in one on one. Now, why is that important? Well, it’s important for a number of reasons. Initially we weren’t really set up to do in terms of training. A lot of our team members, they don’t really know how to conduct one on ones. A lot of our CNAs were not comfortable doing so. And then the other thing is, as a reminder, in terms of staffing ratios, we’re simply not set up for that. And still today, we don’t have the tools and staffing to, to perform this. So I think as a professional, when I look at these data points, what is important is one. when we measure, and I have much more about that in a few slides, but when we measure, then we are able to manage.


And if all of you, and I hope that the bulk of you have access to this type of information, but let’s say that all of us had this information. We could turn around to our organization. We could turn around to our management. We could turn around to our other team members and say, “listen, this is what we need to be doing. I need more staff,” or “I need more tools. Otherwise my residents are simply not gonna be able to be engaged at all.” And again, lack of engagement leads to poorer a quality of life, lower wellbeing levels. And that means in terms of business, shorter length of stay, higher risk from a compliance perspective, and obviously a much higher cost of care. In turn, also an impact on satisfaction. So again, data is crucial for us to collaborate and elevate engagement. Another dataset that I strongly, and I hope that some of you have access to is, how are residents reacting to programming?


And again, this was proven and continues to be proven through these different ways as they come up is, as you can see, this is the engagement and activity tracking and recording of programs. In blue is active in orange is passive in gray is a refused, right? And, and yellow is sleeping. And here’s the interesting piece that we as person-centered-care advocate should really really keep in mind is every time there is pressure on our department, whether it’s staffing, whether it’s the pandemic, every time there’s pressure, as you can see less residents refuse program. So initially when we saw this at Linked Senior, we were like, well why is that right? Why is it that, when there’s a wave of COVID or when there’s staffing crisis, why is it that residents are refusing less? And so we interviewed a lot of team members to really confirm this, which is simply that residents are so hungry, they’ll take any programs.


And so I think the lesson here and the strong recommendation, I hope that you all have access to this information, is that a certain level, and we believe that, that it needs to be between five to 10%. A certain level of refusal rate is very healthy. It means that residents or elders have choice, and they’re expressing it and saying, “no, I don’t want this. I would rather that,” or “I don’t want that. I’d rather this.” And I think that please be mindful that we need to see some level of refusal. I would also highlight just continuing on this minutes of residents engagement a day, that obviously this is the through our client base as well. And I’m very proud of the fact that in our client base today, the bulk of our clients are at 40 minutes or more on average per day.


So way exceeding what it was prior to the pandemic, and obviously fairing pretty well to other operators in the marketplace, just because of the technology efficiencies and enabling interdisciplinary work. So as we continue to go through these challenges, as we continue to collaborate, and as we continue to try to learn, Linked Senior is very excited to share with all of you, some kind of lessons learned and kind of key KPIs. We’ll talk key performance index measurement. And we like to keep things very simple. And so we proposed the 85/35 rule of resident engagement, which is based on something very simple, which are the three resident engagement questions that we should always be asking ourselves, right? One is, are we engaging everyone? In 2022, there is absolutely no reason that you, or as professional cannot answer that simple question.


Are we engaging everyone? And I know that years ago, like two, three years ago, some of us might be thinking about, “oh, well, you know, tracking attendance is something for nursing homes because there’s a compliance component.” Let me tell you this is unacceptable in terms of behavior. And it is my duty as the CEO of Linked Senior and kind of advocating for better activities and life enrichment out there. This does not cut it anymore. Our residents deserve better. Our families expect better. And we as professionals ought to think about how can we make sure that the basic aspect of our job description, the basic aspect of our work is accomplished? So tracking attendance is not about compliance. Tracking attendance is about making sure that one everybody is engaged, right, which is the core aspect of person-centered care and core aspect of what we want to do for our residents, and what our residents deserve.


The second aspect is are we doing our work based on who our residents are? Again, honoring preferences. And finally, are we promoting wellbeing? So with that in mind, and with these three questions kind of boarding down engagement and what we do when we show up in a senior living community, what are the key metrics that we ought to think about? And again, two simple numbers. We have for some time now at Linked Senior, almost, for two years now promoted the idea that a community should thrive to engage 85% of its population. The reason why it’s not a hundred percent is that a hundred percent is sometimes impossible for different reasons. Our residents move in, might be changing level of care. We might have staffing changes. We might have, for example, social isolation measures that change over the course of the month.


And so I’m not saying that a hundred percent should not be our goal. It should always be our goal, but we should be hitting at least 85% every single month. Right? And just to give you an idea here, this is not based on us, just thinking 85% is the number, it is after analyzing years of data from our client base and seeing that it is possible even through the pandemic. The second number is minutes of resident engagement per day. So if some of you are returning from our webinars, you might have seen some of our presentation by Dr. Jennifer starter who heads, who’s a chief engagement officer of our resident engagement Institute. And so this 35 minutes of resident engagement per day is based on three data sets. One is us analyzing our client base and seeing how professionals like you every day, what they do and what they’re able to do. One data set, so basically we’ve proven that it is possible.


The second piece was a very large study that we did with a tool called RICE, the Resident Engagement Index Score. This was the result of interviewing more than seven hundred of professionals like you last year. And so we saw that that number there was 45, so relatively higher, and also basing it on evidence out there. So we peruse and we searched all of the data sets and studies that we could found out that they were published. And ultimately, if you average out these different data sets, it shows that in senior living a smart goal, right, that is achievable, that is measurable, that is achievable is about 36 minutes. So we kind of rounded up. And so we are actively promoting the idea that all of us, all of you should be creating environments, creating systems, where we are engaging residents 35 minutes per day.


If you have any questions about this, please feel free to reach out. We’re very passionate about this. We believe that this is the future, and we are actively building the future towards that, making sure that all of you can be proud of the work that you’re doing, proud of the experience that you’re creating to your residents, because ultimately that is what you want and again, what they really deserve. If you want any more information based on this. We have a lot of data. We have a lot of tools to provide you with feel free to reach out. A lot of it is actually already on our website or in our, some of our past webinars, but please feel free to reach out. And so Martina in the chat here is asking 35 minutes MRG group and individually combined?


That is correct Martin. Ultimately, if you think about every resident that you have in your community, all of them should have been given the opportunity to engage 35 minutes. Each of them. It doesn’t matter if it’s through groups or through one on ones. As you can see from the previous slides, we have different data, and obviously it changes from one level of care to the other. For example, in memory care, we’re doing much more one on ones than we might be doing in assisted living, but ultimately the average in quote, unquote “supportive living” should be 35 minutes. Okay.


And Louis Montgomery is sharing something. Yes, absolutely. So Louis saying is saying in the chat, this engagement can come from care and others. Louis, I would actually make it further argument that we alone cannot do it, right? Activities alone cannot do this. We need to quote, unquote enable or further interdisciplinary work. And Louis agrees a hundred percent in the chat. We alone from the staffing numbers that I shared with you to before cannot do it. Our organization with our help need to make sure that all of our team members are engaging residents. And so at Linked Senior, we love the idea of promoting that the fact that activity professionals are “CEOs,” chief engagement officers. And so that goes with the fact that we should be all of us engaging. And then Renee Connor has a question about 35 MRG for LTC residents.


Renee, I’d love to continue the discussion with you. It depends a little bit on the level of care, but basically for the typical skilled environment, the average, it is about 30, I think, 36 minutes. Now in skilled nursing homes. You know, sometimes we have more residents living with cognitive change. Some of us have more short term. So again, we would love to have a discussion with you on that. But by default, I think that the nursing home setting was 36 minutes. And then Meaghan is sharing the fact that we have questions in the chat, in the Q and A, so I’ll get to that in a second. Susan had a question about the engagement for 11 minutes. This was a CDC report. Again, is part of these slide that will be shared with you.


So feel free to check them out, or feel free to reach out if you have any questions, happy to answer them. And Susan is asking what is an agreed upon definition of engagement? That’s one of my personal favorite questions. If you look at it from a clinical perspective, engagement is a stimuli. This is how Dr. Jeska Emansciot explains it. We think that it’s actually more than that. And this is why we proposed the definition earlier today, which is this idea of collaborating, right? So collaborating with our engagement based on their preferences and personal data points is what true engagement is about. And so Diane Berry is asking, does their independent activity falls under that? Absolutely any type of engagement that helps the person find purpose that helps them being connected to who they are and what they like is considered engagement.


And Nancy Hall has a comment here, which I’ll echo is that one of the big challenges that interdisciplinary work seems to be collecting, one of the challenges is collecting the data. I would agree that it’s a challenge, but I would disagree on the fact that it’s not impossible. Many providers we work with use technology, use data to enable that. And I think that if you think of the fact that you or we are “chief engagement officer,” and that engagement is so important that it needs to be driven and enabled, then all of the other things will fall into place. We’ve seen many organizations enable dining services, maintenance care in that engagement initiative. Let me just carry on a little bit with our presentation today, which is what we believe is the future and why we are so excited about the work that you do, that we all do together.


If you pause two seconds and think the fact, think about the fact that today we are in the very few, first days of 2022, and you try to imagine, what does, for example, 2025 look like? Or 2026, right? Let’s just skip a few you know, some of the current challenges that we have. I love the idea. We love the idea that engagement is medicine, right? We love the idea that engagement is sometime actually better than medicine. I remember very well, we had Marvel Adams, who’s the chief engagement officer from Kendal Senior Living. He was part of our summit last June. And some of you might remember he shared this story about the fact that as we walk into our communities, an activity director should be perceived to be as important as a nurse, a MEAG distributing medicine, right? Because ultimately both professionals provide something essential to our elders, right? And I think this goes back a little bit to what Susan was saying initially about making sure that all of our team members are helping. We are essential. We are super important. And with that being said, the path to the social prescription model is enabling a world where again, the social piece, the psychosocial piece is as important as medicine or sometimes more important.


Now, is this crazy? Is this too much to think about the fact that, but our work in activities is as important or more important than medicine? And I would argue absolutely not. I will tell you that this is coming a world where what you do is valued so much, Like I shared, that is coming and it’s coming fast. If you look at other countries, for example, in Europe. The UK, for example, has a plan to enable social prescribing, right? If you look at other industries, if you look at diabetes too, there are apps today that you can download onto your iPhone that will give you, “lifestyle prescriptions” recommendations for you to conduct your day that are reimbursable by your insurance, right? So your doctor can write a prescription to you. Now, why would we think about using a medical word, like prescribing right, to recommend something that is psychosocial?


And I think the idea is not to, “say that the medical world is more important,” or the psychosocial model is, is is more important. I think the reason we want to think about “prescribing” is this whole idea of working together. I’m sure that many of you on the line today are nurses. Many of you are activity professionals, and all of you would understand that we’re all important. And what is important is not to say, “I am better,” or “these people aren’t as good as I am,” it is about collaborating. Remember the first, one of the very first slides that I shared, it’s us collaborating with our elders, it’s also us collaborating together to improve the wellbeing of our residents. And so, this is not 10 years on the line. We believe that within the coming a couple years, some of us and some of our providers are going to see models where an activity professional is respected as much as our nursing are professional and both of them work together.


And I can tell you this, because we are seeing this within our client base today, right? We are seeing organizations understand and value so much engagement that they get to work together all hand in hand. And in many instances, hopefully most instances, for example, music is perceived as an intervention, a non pharmacological intervention, and is the first modality even before for example, an antipsychotic medication. I know there’s still a lot of work to be done. Again, I talk to professionals like you every day. And I know that sometimes we’re unfortunately very far from that. But I can tell you that this is coming. And when I was telling you, when I was sharing with you our wish at Linked Senior, which is ‘may the age be with you’, part of it is also the idea that we as a society continue to elevate the respect we have for our elders. And that is true respect, right? Ultimately the more we are person-centered, the more we respect our elders, the more our work in activities will be respected as well.


I love the chat. So I was seeing a comment about somebody that was saying that this is achieved in some of the communities. So thanks for sharing that. Now again, you know, some of you might think, well, this is kind of just, it’s not happening. It’s too far down the line. And I would argue, no, it’s not. It’s actually what you do every day, right? Again, this is a simplification, but this is another view of what’s called APIE, which is assess, plan, implement, and evaluate. And it’s basically what we do in terms of activities, right? We want to get to know our residents plan, engage them, and evaluate our work. And this is how we enable a model, a model that is prescriptive, right? Our work as activity professional again, is to make sure that every resident is engaged based on who they are.


So every day, whether you like it or not, you are actively working to “prescribe engagement,” right? You are doing it every day, believe it or not. So the idea here is now that we’re starting from scratch, we’re not, the idea is to continue acknowledging the amazing work that you do, it is to continue getting credit for the work that you do, this is why we’re so passionate about helping you get data, right? Without data it’s much more difficult. And then once you have the data, it’s all about optimizing. And some of you might recognize that this is a cycle, right? We want to get to know, plan, engage and evaluate, and then we want to start again. And so the more we do that, and I say, we, not us, one person, but as an industry, as an organization, the more we do that, the more we learn, the more we improve.


Right? And now for some of you that might be, “at a loss,” or not really knowing where to start. I’d like to share with you three things, which are kind of things that I’ve already repeated, but I’d like to kind of emphasize them a little bit more, which is if I was to start in a community today, right. Say, so I take a new job, regardless of where the community is from, “zero to hero,” right? There are three things that you can do today to elevate this, right? Even if the community is not doing such a great job and these three things, again, they’re not new, but they’re really important. And they’re the basic fundamental tenants. One is we have to enable into the secondary work. Like Renee and Susan, and many of you have highlighted work today. If you’re not getting help from an other department is simply possible.


Now, the great thing is, and this is one of the silver lining over our of this pandemic is that this has been improving. We need to enable interdisciplinary work. We have to be data driven. If you are not capturing data today, please talk to us, please send us an email. Please communicate with other professionals to understand how you start. Right? And then the third one is technology. Obviously Linked Senior is a technology company. We’re kind of slightly biased, but I would make an argument here that in 2022, there’s absolutely no reason to be spending hours and days searching the web for engagement. There is absolutely no reason for us to be managing our department with paper. And I would just encourage you to think slightly beyond that aspect, which is how can we use technology to augment the work that we all do?


As I shared interdisciplinary work is where it all starts, right? So how can we, as organizations continue using this trend that we’re seeing through COVID, which is making sure that all of our teams are helping us. So again, this is a trend, please take a snapshot of this with your phone share it with your team if you’re not seeing enough of that today. Download the slides, but make sure please communicate with your other department, because this is the first step to it. And this is how we start again. This is a repeat of some, one of the earliest slides that I had with you. I just changed the words here, because just to emphasize how much, sometimes it is impossible. If we are only one in our department and one doing the work. The second piece, which is really important is data.


There’s this simple idea which is what is measured improved, right? If we don’t measure, we’re simply not going to improve. We’ll never know where we are and we’ll never do the work that we want to do in our residents deserve. And we know this for really well on link senior, because we did the work of doing a whole clinical study with amazing outcomes. This was previous to COVID. But as you can see, some of these outcomes are amazing, right? And this is what we all want to achieve now with our residents. Besides Link Senior or other technology, please consider measuring things, using tools to achieve this because all of us need to get more credit for the amazing work that we do. And then the last piece is actually technology, right? So again, whether you’re considering Linked Senior, or anything else, we in 2022, we have to be using some kind of tool to enable the work that we do, right?


And this is the proof. This was a study done again, through the right effort. As you can see, more than 700 organization took part of it. And basically this is the proof that we need to collect preference data electronically, right? If some of you are still using paper, please advocate strongly to use anything else, but paper move to something electronic, regardless of what it is, because this is how you’ll do more or what you love to do, which is again, create individual plans for residents, build communities and groups. This is essential in as we continue navigating these different waves of COVID. And obviously when we use an electronic engagement platform, we feel good about the work that we do, right. We report that we are engaging residents in a person centered way based on their preferences. And we just know simply if we’re doing our work right.


That feels good. So with that being said I’d like to also emphasize the fact that technology is a way for us to augment our work. And I love to give a shout out to Michelle and all of the team at Kendal at Oberlin through the pandemic again, they used technology, Linked Senior was one of them, but they used many different types of technology. And they were really strategic again, about thinking about how can we engage our residents, our elders better. And in this particular case, look how cool look at these amazing outcomes they were able to do right? They were able to multiply the numbers of one on ones by four, right? They were able to save 165 hours of staff time per month.


This is essential, right? Because the bulk of this data, I’m sorry, the bulk of these hours, sorry, will then be redeployed either by coaching our team members and/or engaging our residents better. Right? So again, think of this goal of 35 minutes of residence engagement per day. This is totally achievable if we enable technology, if we enable interdisciplinary work and if we use data to to measure and improve our work. So with that being said, let me share with you a couple more thoughts about how we, again, continue elevating this discussion. At Linked Senior, as you can see, we have tons of different initiatives and ways we can help you. Obviously some of them are these Activities Strong webinars, and please continue coming. And I’ll share a couple on announcements on that in a second. But I think that for us to continue leading the charge in this database, data driven, sorry, evidence based methodology, some of you might have seen.


We’re very proud of the fact that last year we released, we initiated the first of its kind resident engagement institute. And the whole idea is to promote this future of the social prescription, right? The whole idea is to think about this is the future. We know it’s happening. We see these different pieces happening either in different countries, in different industries. We see some of our clients doing this work already. Why not all partner together and help you by providing you the tools, providing you with some of the data sets, providing you easy access to some of the leading research out there. So part of this institute is also, is very important faculty group, which are experts, international experts, and some of which you’ll see soon on some of our webinars, but international experts. So we can all partner and continue to elevate this discussion.


So again, this is just an invitation for us. As I mentioned earlier at the beginning of my presentation today. This is an invitation for us to continue to collaborate. I personally, Charles, I am so excited about the work coming up, but I also want to acknowledge how hard things are right now. And in the end, and this is probably something that some of you might have heard me say before. I am deeply thankful of the work that you all do. I am proud to work with professionals like you, and our passion at Linked Senior is to continue to elevate the work that you all do and to continue giving you the tools so you can turn around and again, do the work that you’re passionate about and do engagement and create the environment that your residents deserve it. So again, really thank you for the work that you do.


A couple more notes about about Activities Strong, which is that we’ve just completely revamped our Activities Strong website. And I’ll just take you then just a second. You can see how it looks like. If you go to This is a website and we also have a Facebook group, please, for me to join the Facebook group as well. Actually, Meaghan, if you don’t mind dropping the Facebook group as well in the chat but let me share with you one of the changes that we brought as we had many questions about upcoming events. If you go on under the events tab now you’ll see that we had a whole calendar of upcoming events and please check it up, check it frequently as we continuously update it. I want to include you think about joining us on January 18th, where we will have 


Dr. Cameron Camp and Gary Johnson take us through what, one of the things that I love, which is the application of the Montessori Method in the field of staff engagement and dementia care. So that’s our upcoming session. The other session, other big event that I would strongly recommend that you consider is in February, February 15th. And that is the first of its kind Validation World Congress. Some of you might be familiar of the work of Naomi Feil. It’s called the Validation Method. It’s now led by Vicky, the executive director of the Validation Training Institute. And this will be a half day event, all about celebrating 40 years, right? 40 years of innovating in dementia care and setting the path for the next 40 years of dementia care. So please join us. Again all of these events are free. We’re providing USCUs so you can continue your careers advancement. And with that I want to thank you all for the amazing work that you do, and wish you all the best. And as I shared with you initially, “may the age be with you.” If you have any questions on any of the slides today, please feel free to reach out. Let me just kind of put my email here before and my contact information, feel free to reach out on our website and all of you. Thank you for the amazing work that you provide.



Comments are off this post!

#ActivitiesStrong 13