Keeping residents engaged in a fitness program is a challenge for most senior living communities but having the right information can make all the difference in the world. Recently, we spoke with Michael, the Wellness Director for Smith Crossing in Orland Park, IL to learn more about how they are using data to motivate and encourage residents to stay engaged in a fitness program.
HUR: I understand that data is a pivotal part of how you drive engagement in your community’s fitness program. What kind of information is most useful and how do you and your staff use it?
Michael: Tracking data is an important part of our community’s health and wellness programs across all levels of care – independent and assisted living. This is important because we have the ability to track fitness data even when residents move between levels of care. When a resident requires physical therapy, for example, our therapists are able to pull up their fitness program and personal data in HUR SmartTouch and know what kinds of exercises they’ve been doing, with what frequency, and how strong they are. This is useful for the therapist, of course, but it also provides an instant goal for the patient to get back to where they were before the event that caused them to need physical therapy.
After PT, I can use the data in HUR SmartTouch to continue to motivate them and set new goals. Because I am able to show them how far they’ve come, I can say, “Look at what you’ve accomplished! If you can do that, imagine what you can do over the next few months!”
This is really powerful and inspiring for all of our residents – not just those coming out of PT. There’s so much power in that data! It’s a motivating force and a major reason that many of our residents stay committed to their programs.
HUR: Do you have an example of how data inspired one of your residents to achieve a fitness goal?
Michael: Yes! One of our residents, Mel, acquired an injury that required her to transfer over to our in house physical therapy. As she moved through Physical Therapy, the data was right there in front of her, showing her day-by-day that she was getting closer to full recovery. After she was discharged from PT, I sat down with Mel and designed an outpatient program for her. Because we had all of her data right in front of us, she could see how far she’d come. It really helped her understand the potential for what she could achieve.
I just took a look at her data today and Mel has had a 16% increase in strength over the past year. In other words, even with her injury, and having to spend a few months in physical therapy, she is STILL 16% stronger than she was a year ago. That’s really incredible! I don’t know that she would have achieved the same results without the data.
"After finishing physical therapy, the HUR equipment helped me keep a good routine that I can control and modify as need be." ~ Lorraine, resident at Smith Crossing
HUR: What is it about HUR SmartTouch data that your residents find so motivating?
Michael: A lot of residents love that they can monitor their own progress, breaking down the data in in ways that are meaningful to them. With every training or therapy session, their progress is clearly displayed right there on the touchscreen. This is powerful! It’s motivating to see the progress you’re making over the long-term. But, it’s also motivating to see the progress you’ve made this week.
The data also tells us when goals have been met so we can celebrate!
HUR: As the Community’s Wellness Director, does having HUR SmartTouch data influence how you work with residents?
Michael: Personally, I love having physical parameters to work from. And the more individualized, the better. Having access to so much data for each of the residents helps me get them onto the right program from the start and then helps me make ongoing adjustments to keep them moving forward at the pace that’s right for them and their goals.
It even helps me add off-equipment activities because the data gives me a baseline of what they are capable of doing.
Some of our residents really love the auto increase option on our HUR equipment. We set it to automatically increase when they meet certain goals that are specific to their training plan. Other residents want to work with me to make those increases manually. We look at the data together and make adjustments as they progress. Either way, the data is an amazing tool that helps us celebrate all those small achievements that might otherwise be overlooked.
"One of the things I value is being able to walk and the HUR equipment has really helped me to maintain the strength in my legs." ~ Don, resident at Smith Crossing
HUR: Are there other ways you use the HUR SmartTouch Data in your community?
Michael: The data really helps us when we have to go into quarterly business reviews because it’s so easy to show our executive leadership team that there’s a clear return on investment for the HUR equipment. We can show numbers for how many residents are using the equipment and how many are gaining strength. We can break it down by male and female, then show representations of the average overall gain in strength for each population.
Most importantly, we have real numbers that demonstrate value. They can see that the investment in HUR equipment has real ROI.
HUR: Does having the HUR Equipment make an impact on new residents?
Michael: Absolutely. It’s interesting, because most individuals get excited about the equipment right away. They are intrigued by the technology and can see that it’s so user friendly that they don’t feel overwhelmed by it. That excitement gets them engaged right away. One of the first things we do is get them set up in the SmartTouch system and we hear them talking to one another, saying things like, “I got my armband! Did you get yours?” It’s really great to hear stuff like that.