5 Things to Consider when Delivering Content to Senior Living Residents’ Rooms

Senior living residents have spent a lot of time in their rooms this past year. In the height of COVID-19 lockdowns, when many couldn’t – or preferred not to – leave their rooms, TVs and smartphones became a primary source of news and connection.

In-room TV channels and other content systems provide entertainment, wellness, community engagement, and staff communication opportunities, all packaged in an experience that’s in line with the community’s brand.

But none of that is possible without the right investment of time and resources. What you put into your content is what your residents will get out of it.  

To ensure you have the infrastructure you need to deliver engaging content in your senior living community, ask these five questions first.

1: Does Your Senior Living Community Have a TV Channel?

Does your community have its own TV channel? Are you producing enough content for it?

If you do have your own channel from your TV provider, figure out how much and how often you’ll offer your own content. That might be a lineup of virtual activities like yoga classes and religious events, standard cable TV, or live-streamed events from your community or online.

Make sure you have a plan for what programming on this channel will look like.

2: Do You Have the Necessary Supporting Devices?

There are many nuts and bolts in any given in-room TV setup. You’ll need to ensure every resident has all those pieces to get seamless content streaming.In most instances, the TV will be enough, but here are some supporting devices you may need, depending on your content distribution system: 

  • Smart TVs
  • HDMI cords
  • Streaming sticks, like Firestick, Roku, or Google Chromecast
  • Video call platforms, like Zoom
  • Accessories, like an iPad stand

For some assisted living residents with mobility, vision, and hearing issues, TVs can be hard to operate.

You may want to consider investing in voice technology. Content management systems are a lot more accessible with an Amazon Alexa integration: residents can simply cue up what they want to watch with a voice command, no need to operate a remote control.

3: How Will You Drive Adoption of Digital Content in This Senior Living Community?

While your staff will be involved in content distribution, your residents are your end users. You need their buy-in before you commit to a content distribution system.

Many communities now have a dedicated resident tech advisory council to help with technology rollouts. A team of residents can help you decide which tools will provide the most value and help other residents learn how to use them. You might even involve residents in the demo process. 

If you don’t have a team of residents to assist with education, you can have staff members help residents learn how to talk to Alexa and navigate the TV channel.

4: Can Your IT Support Community-Wide Digital Signage and Tools?

Forget every other consideration for a content rollout until you can answer yes to this question: Is your WiFi strong enough?

Outside of residents’ rooms, your community’s WiFi network is the foundation of any tech amenity you offer, from mission-critical tools like nursing staff apps to entertainment systems accessed on smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Don’t invest in any technology solution until you’ve invested in a comprehensive WiFi network. If you skimp on WiFi, you’ll inevitably run into frustrating snags and wind up spending more money to troubleshoot. Your residents won’t be happy, either.

Whatever the source of your internet connection – fiber, cable, satellite, or a mix – ask your IT provider whether it’s sturdy enough to allow residents to access content from anywhere in the community on their devices.

5: Is Your Platform Flexible to Change?

Finally, if you receive resident feedback, can you make those changes?

It’s important to evaluate any senior living digital content system for its flexibility. Will your tech partner be willing and able to help you tweak the interface, add more apps, or incorporate closed captions?

You should also make sure the platform is scalable and open to feedback as your community grows.

Senior Living Digital Signage and In-Room TV Content: Cover All Your Bases Before You Invest

Residents will love easy to access content around the community and in their rooms. It’s a great way to combine accessible communication and entertainment in one device.

But in order to set up a system that works for everyone, you’ll need to do your homework first.

If you’re interested in how Caremerge can support your community’s digital signage strategy,

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