Retiring Doesn’t Equal Disconnecting
Joe Cuticelli
Joe Cuticelli
CEO, Seniors
Sodexo North America

After so many years of living my life by the clock and my Outlook calendar, I sometimes wonder what it must be like for the residents we serve when they first retire. The majority juggled demanding personal and business schedules. Did they feel a sense of relief when they no longer had to check a personal device to stay on top of their day – or was there a void?

Now, instead of going cold turkey, an increasing number of senior communities offer residents multiple digital ways to keep track of their still-busy schedules.

Waterman Village, a premier retirement community in Mt. Dora, FL, contracted with Connected Living in February to install digital signs in the campus’s high-traffic communal buildings. The digital signs feature touch screen technology enabling residents to access the community’s bulletin board, events calendar, menus for the various dining venues, weather information and a customized “You are Here” guide to help new residents and visitors navigate the campus.

Resident Jim Medek said, “I am pleased to see Waterman Village is providing another method of communicating with the residents.”

Judging by their delighted expressions, Waterman’s residents were intrigued by the new technology and the convenience it delivers. Not only is the information available on the digital screens, but residents can also access it on their personal televisions. Waterman Village has long enjoyed a sophisticated, in-house TV station system that offers programs on many subjects. With a brand new look and feel, the community rolled out Connected Living’s In-House TV design and setup which perfectly replicates the community’s branding. It made adding the content of the digital signage just a matter of “plug ‘n play,” much to the delight of the community’s IT specialist.

But this is Florida– who stays inside for long? So, in March, the community held a “Bring Your Own Device” Day, sponsored by the Recreational Services and Connected Living teams. Residents who brought their iPads and iPhones got a tutorial and downloaded the new Connected Living app, a social networking platform that enables them to easily stay connected with family, friends, and other residents at Waterman Village. And, through the use of a customized Waterman Village community code, residents can view photos, menus and event information – everything that’s available on the digital signs – to plan their schedules. The Android version of the Connected Living app was released on April 17. Jocelyn Jones, Director of Recreational Services, said, “It was great to see the residents so involved and interested in learning a new program on their iPhones and iPads.  It will be a great opportunity for so many of our residents to stay connected with family and friends as well as having the daily activities and the menu in the palms of their hands.”

And more features are on the way – Connected Living recently partnered with Lyft, enabling the residents to book a ride any time they need one through the CL app. They can also access Circles, a Sodexo company that provides virtual concierge services and order “anything from the ordinary to the extraordinary.”

Sounds like keeping track of busy retirement schedules will be a snap thanks to Connected Living and their app!

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