Eldermark’s Mark Anderson took part in a McKnight’s Senior Living webinar today to discuss “Succeeding Despite the 2020 Pandemic.”

Anderson talked about, among other things, the topics of loneliness and what “the new normal” looks like in a COVID-19 world.

I think the new normal is maybe not as different as we think it is. It’s just going into things with our eyes a little more wide open than they’ve been in the past. You know, COVID has really exposed a lot of gaps for us within things like infection control practices, funding policies and within technology adoption. The new normal really remains focused on the senior living customer experience and just a different way to achieve that customer satisfaction and optimal well-being.

On the topic of loneliness, Anderson said:

Well, certainly social isolation, this disconnectedness, has been an ongoing issue since the pandemic began. … We all have a sense of what it is to feel lonely and to yearn for connections with other people. … As a technology vendor serving senior living business lines, part of our job is to look for ways to meet needs and provide solutions as our customers serve their customers and to, now and then, look into our crystal ball and try to figure out what else is going to be needed down the road so that we can be ready and prepared to serve them in their good work. … We were working on a communications platform within one of our sister companies last year, and then COVID hit and everybody was scrambling, looking for a way to easily be connected. You know, there are lots of different platforms out there. It was a challenge. We learned from talking to our customers … some families are using this platform, some family members are using that one. Residents are trying to use certain communication platforms. The community is trying to stick with some kind of system that makes sense for them and our single platform, we predicted, would be a good solution to that. COVID came on board and we were proven to be correct. So we had to really re-double our efforts to get that product out there. And when we were able to introduce it initially in late June, we were overwhelmed with interest. People needed to be connected. People needed to get information. People needed to hear the truth as soon as possible and not wait for an email or a phone call or things like that. And so, as businesses that serve the industry, what can we do about things like that? We need to be aware of what’s going on, keep our fingers on the pulse of what our customers are experiencing and what their customers are experiencing so that we can be responsive.