Over the past decade, smartphones have reshaped the communications landscape for consumers. Their near-ubiquity – two-thirds of Americans now own a smartphone – has redefined the relationship most people have with telecommunications and the internet. Smartphones have even changed how consumers prefer to communicate, leading to the rise of text messaging (SMS) as the preferred means of communication with friends, family, and businesses. A recent global study found that a majority of consumers want to use text messaging to interact with businesses.
Consumers have seemingly lost confidence in email as an effective means to communicate with businesses. After over two decades of constant bombardment from advertisers, the need for a viable alternative, one not so laden with junk mail, has led to a much greater demand for text messaging. A mix of industries have risen to the challenge and made text messaging a core part of their communications platforms. For example, in response to the demand for text messaging, carriers and regulatory agencies worked together to allow text-enabling of toll free phone numbers, an increasingly common feature offered by businesses who use 800 numbers.
In senior living communities, text messaging stands to improve communications with both residents and their families. Text messaging in senior living facilities can give a greater sense of personalization, and help to build a greater rapport with the community. Not all residents or their families will want to make use of text messaging, but adding it as a feature of a senior living facility’s communications system stands to improve overall satisfaction in care.
Here are 4 Benefits of Using SMS (Text Messaging) in Senior Living Communications:
Improved efficiency of internal communications
Gone are the days of wearing radio headsets to communicate with on-floor staff. Group text messaging through cloud communications offers the ability to efficiently and discretely share internal communications with caregivers and staff. This does require the use of a mobile app, which most cloud providers offer as part of their services. Because senior living environments require caregivers and staff to be constantly on the move, using mobile technology and internal group text messaging through a dedicated mobile application is a fantastic way to improve the pace and clarity of certain internal communications among team members.
A New Way to Manage the Schedule
Maintaining a steady schedule is an essential part of running a senior living facility. Text messaging can be used to facilitate the scheduling of appointments with residents, their families, and to send confirmation messages to all of them. They also allow for a seamless means to reschedule or cancel appointments, which stands to save senior living facilities money by reducing the incidences of no-shows for certain types of appointments. Adding text messaging to the mix expands a senior living facility’s breadth of communications to give everyone a chance to alter any plans, and to keep the daily schedule running smoothly.
Better Resident and Family Engagement
Part of the senior living experience are the various events held throughout the year for residents and their families. Attendance to these events ranges from alright to abysmal, and this can have an impact on residents’ happiness. Using text messages, senior living facilities can better communicate with and engage residents’ families, increase attendance at events, and improve the overall satisfaction of residents and their families with the community. An increase in engagement leads to a better experience, and text messaging is a simple, trusted, and non-invasive means to do it.
Greater Satisfaction in Care
A major component of most senior living facilities is the care they provide through caregivers and other staff. Satisfaction in care, therefore, plays a central role in the success and failure of most facilities. Better communication leads to better outcomes. Increasing the number of communications options available to residents and their families decreases the likelihood of anyone falling through the proverbial cracks. Adding text messaging to the mix stands to greatly reduce the chance that a communication from a resident or a family member is missed, and the immediacy of a text message can help make the communication feel more personalized.
When used as part of a host communications platform, text messaging stands to greatly improve a senior living facility’s operations, as well as improve satisfaction in care. With consumers increasingly preferring text messaging over email, and even phone calls, senior living facilities can only benefit from making text messaging a part of their operations.