High Tech or High Touch

By March 25, 2019Uncategorized

There is no question that high tech devices are becoming prevalent in resident accommodations in all sorts of senior housing. It’s not unusual to find Alexa answering questions like “what’s the weather like today?” Or even facilitating communication with staff. And technology is a more efficient way to determine whether a resident has taken a fall in their room and needs help. In a recent Senior Housing News article, Alexis Ohanion, an American internet investor and entrepreneur, emphatically indicated that robots will not replace human caregivers as these staff members are less replaceable than many other types of workers. Caregivers are able to create an empathetic human connection. Steven Moran, in the March 20 issue of Senior Housing Forum points out that when senior housing team members are introduced to new technology, they may already “feel overburdened with what they have to do right now”. One of the greatest challenges our industry faces today is finding and retaining qualified staff such as aides and caregivers. Their ability to develop relationships with residents reinforces their perception of their value and the importance of their jobs. So high tech has its value but it will never replace high touch.