Sarah Hoit is a social entrepreneur whose career has focused on strategies that impact significant issues affecting families and their communities.
She co-founded Connected Living in 2007 to create a private social network that bridges the “digital divide” for millions of seniors. Connected Living provides a “high tech and high touch” way for families to connect privately, access goods and services, and enhance their quality of life.
Sarah was previously Founder and CEO of Explore, Inc. It is an education company that operated programs that met the academic and social needs of every student.
Sarah also served as the Director of Business Planning in the White House Office of National Service, and then as Deputy Director of “AmeriCorps.”
Sarah holds a BA with Honors from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS), where she was awarded a public service fellowship.
You can also listen to this podcast at podcast.boomerliving.tv using the link https://podcast.boomerliving.tv/connected-living-for-baby-boomers-families-and-social-communities-with-sarah-hoit-ba-mba/
Company Website: https://www.connectedliving.com/
Hanh Brown: [00:00:00] Well, welcome, Sarah. Thank you so much for being here.
Sarah Hoit: Thank you.
Hanh Brown: [00:02:16] So please share with us your journey as a social entrepreneur and making an impact on the lives and families and their community.
Sarah Hoit: [00:02:23] Well, I think my journey, like so many people is personal and I’m a social entrepreneur who likes to solve unsolved problems.
[00:02:32] And this one was. Both for me and my founding partner, Chris McQuade, we had, in my case at the time aging grandparents who were disconnected and with whom we needed to be in communication and couldn’t be on a daily basis and know what was happening. My partner had. Family members in different, wonderful senior living places across the country, but had no window in.
[00:02:55] And this is again a decade ago. And we really just felt like there in the 21st century was a real need for not just a connection, but a respectful, vibrant, connected life that really. Emphasized the living and the voice and the legacy. And as we looked at technology in the marketplace, none of what even existed felt that way, you know, the ages and being present and all the rest.
[00:03:19] And so really it connected living. It was personal. My family has been unfortunately plagued with Alzheimer’s, as it sounds so many people on this journey have dealt with and we wanted to find a way that people could privately meaningfully connect. With their loved ones with family, with the community, and really to provide a resource as we started to learn the industry for these amazing places, because they were behind technologically we’re cut off from, you know, a lot of the regular dialogue that families and others could be having.
[00:03:51] So it was very personal to starting with that company.
Hanh Brown: [00:03:55] Living is a global leader in providing technology solutions to seniors and families. They offer a full suite of technology solutions that serve and empower resident engagement through an easy to use highly customizable platform. Connected living is the leading technology provider inspiring an aging population to connect, contribute, and live healthier lives.
[00:04:19] Through their full suite of technology solutions, connected living is your one-stop shop to grow occupancy, reduce employee turnover, and enhance the quality of life for seniors and their families. Well, first, tell us how you derive to your brand name. I’m sure it was very purposeful.
Sarah Hoit: [00:04:36] What we really felt.
[00:04:39] Not only we, but as we talked with families and with residents and our lens is so clear that this technology is not just for the seniors it’s for everyone. We want it to build respectful, beautiful technology that. Everyone in the family would want to participate with the 50 year old, the 15 year old and the 85, 90 year old.
[00:05:00] And that would really bring also some privacy and peace of mind. So not just connecting on a large network, like a Facebook or something, but having a place that you could do special things with the people you love know that they’re okay. And share your life and share your stories and your wisdom. So we have built a very sophisticated over a decade period of time.
Hanh Brown: [00:05:20] So your solutions consist of content management, administrative dashboard. You also offer digital signage, not your cookie cutter PowerPoint presentation.
[00:05:32] you offer mobile apps. That includes concierge services. Also voice products, such as Amazon Alexa integration, you also offer the private TV channel, smart home web portal, the residents network, and also calendars and newsletters.
[00:05:48] You also have partner integrations if one decides to use it. So connected living can integrate with all of these partnership and last and not least lifelong learning, connected living university. Wow. So please tell us about that.
Sarah Hoit: [00:06:03] We’re very proud of the fact that if you look out in the industry, we don’t have a big sales team, but we have very happy clients.
[00:06:11] And that we’ve really built a suite of technology that first of all has an underlying, and I don’t mean to get too technical, but a content management system. Where, if you wanted to privately meaningfully connect with every resident, every family member, your staff bring community together that this is a place that you can enter.
[00:06:30] Any piece of data that’s meaningful. It could be a menu. It could be the profile of a resident. It could be activities. And that information is going to be then transmitted to any series of pieces of technology that we’ve developed, digital signage, TV, mobile apps, so that not only family members who all have smartphones and devices, but increasingly the residents do to, or want them.
[00:06:54] And we have also been at the cutting edge of bringing Alexa voice and smart home to the industry. Amazon came to us. It’s now a couple of years ago and tapped us on the shoulder and said, listen, I think you’re one of the only ones with a mobile team and dev team, you know, this investment in robust technology, would you be interested in taking our hospitality suite and bringing it to an aging population?
[00:07:14] And we said, absolutely. So we’ve been. At the cutting edge and front edge of that. And from my opinion is we shouldn’t have to tell people how to communicate. We should just open up the flood Gates for how they want to, for some people, the Alexa voice devices is that sort of double entendre of unleashing the voice of an aging population.
[00:07:32] Right? Maybe I don’t want a tablet, but I certainly know how to ask what’s on the menu or to connect with my family.
Hanh Brown: [00:07:39] So you are a big proponent of legacy story and voice.
Sarah Hoit: [00:07:43] So the suite that we’ve brought together allows not only a family to have a complete window in connection to their one, to the community, for the information that’s public like menus or calendars or events, and really have that two way street and also for the residents to pick the ways that they want to communicate from seeing information on the digital sign, to private information and picture flow of their families, to shared music and.
[00:08:07] One of my most important pieces of the product we’ve put together is around legacy story and voice. We have incredible, incredible people who have lived close to a century and have so much wisdom and knowledge. And also many are suffering with brain health issues or dementia or Alzheimer’s. And these stories are not only.
[00:08:30] So important and critical for people to have, but in some cases, the importance of getting them now is even more critical. So we have interwoven storytelling. We have something called time capsule, where you can interactively share and do stories with your family and other people that you put on your profile communities can have special questions that, you know, if we really want to unlock everybody childhood and how you fell in love and purpose and all of these pieces.
[00:08:56] So we have a very person centered. Story-based delivery. And yet it comes through any device that you wish to interact with.
Hanh Brown: [00:09:05] So this is an intelligent personalization powered by artificial intelligence. It is not like any other social media. It is used to privately and meaningfully connect with the kids, grandkids, the people within your community.
[00:09:19] You can also share information using time capsule, photos, and all sorts of story-based pieces. You can stay up to date with all the events that the community so that you can plan out your day with your loved ones.
Sarah Hoit: [00:09:31] That is absolutely right. And it gives you this sense. It’s not about not doing the other social media.
[00:09:37] You certainly can, but this is your place to privately and meaningfully connect with the people closest to and with your community, that could be your grandchildren. Family and your daughters and your sons, it could also be your three or four best friends down the hall. So there’s private communication that people might share on their time.
[00:09:54] Capsules sharing photos, just the way you would on any other medium. Here’s my daughter’s hockey game. Here’s the party. I was just at the little festival we had last week at the community. So all of those regular kind of sharing and story-based pieces, but then you also have full access to it. Everything happening in the community.
[00:10:12] What time is yoga? What’s on the menu and you not only can access this on your TV or on the digital sign or on your app, but you can also no ask any of that data that we have in our system, which is everything that community has integrated with.
Hanh Brown: [00:10:27] Alexa sounds like you provide a means for families to stay connected as much as they want.
[00:10:34] There are no one kept in the dark about moms or dads from day-to-day activities. The schedule and activities are made available. So loved ones can be engaged plan ahead and stay connected.
Sarah Hoit: [00:10:46] Wao wonderful. You can also ask Alexa and she’ll tell you. And so can the family, I mean, as a family member feeling like you’re on the outside and sometimes the only phone call you’re going to get, isn’t the great one.
[00:10:57] It’s when there’s trouble. Right? Well, there’s no reason for that. You could be connected as much as you want both to your loved one and to the community and what’s happening, or you see that there’s a trip to the museum and say, grandma, I’m going to meet you there. I see that there’s a trip to the science museum and I’d love to come.
[00:11:12] So you’ve really got this window in which for families and loved ones has been something that we have heard for 10 years.
Hanh Brown: [00:11:19] So is this available on both iOS and Android nationally and internationally? Can one see the location where your loved one is? And I assume that all of this needs permission before access is granted, is that right .
Sarah Hoit: [00:11:33] visible for everyone.
[00:11:34] And we know for families, that’s going to primarily be through their smart devices and we are both iOS and Android. So that again, once again, we’re not picking. What people have in their hands, whatever they have in their hands, they can connect. And we’re also completely internationally enabled. We’re getting interest from overseas right now, but in our connections, if you looked at my app right now, I’ve got connections all over the world.
[00:11:55] And if we have agreed to share this with each other, we can see each other’s location and the whole social flow, everything. In fact, there’s parameters we have on there. My father and my children. We share these things where you can even share your location and know when someone has arrived safely somewhere or not.
[00:12:10] So there’s different permissions that our software allows you to do with specific people and not with others. It’s all completely choice-based. You know, the thing that we’re seeing right now that is so exciting in senior living, and I think senior living often has a different perception out in. The world that what it really is, we work with these amazing community managers who really want to bring whose values and mission are the same as what we’re trying to unleash and having the tools in their hands to bring that kind of connection and vibrancy and voice and legacy and all the things that they wish for.
[00:12:44] This is a system to have a connected life is for the entire building. Also makes the staff’s job a lot easier and a lot more fun. You have the information. A new staff member coming in should know exactly who my grandmother is. And if you saw her profile, you know, all these things that are so important to her, even before you met her.
[00:13:02] So I think it’s a win for everybody. And I think it’s so important right now. You know, when we first started this company 10 years ago, people thought we were crazy. Everyone’s not going to connect. And the buildings don’t have wifi and.
Hanh Brown: [00:13:14] It was just not the newer buildings, right. Maybe used to be, but not the case,
Sarah Hoit: [00:13:18] not the case anymore.
[00:13:19] You and I know nobody’s coming, nobody is coming unless the building is connected and innovative and the decision-makers everybody, depending on whether it’s assisted or independent. The family members and the residents are assuming that they’re only going to come to a place where there’s innovation and connection and a modern life being offered.
[00:13:41] And we are now at the cutting edge as an industry. We’re seeing all these beautiful new properties being built. So we’re not only retrofitting and putting in connection to existing buildings, very elegantly and easily with existing screens and computers that are there.
Hanh Brown: [00:13:56] so how are you integrating to the newer community?
[00:13:59] What are you doing with regards to the smart home digital signage is the technology multi-generational or is there an age restriction on this technology?
Sarah Hoit: [00:14:08] And some of the new buildings that we are doing, we are putting in smart home in every room, voiced in every room. Our digital signage offering is really the most sophisticated in the market.
[00:14:18] We do everything from way-finding touch screen. You can have just your menu offered outside your restaurant, where the main signage in the lobby, when you come in is an interactive sign that has everything on it. So the sophistication and beauty of our technology doesn’t matter what the marketplace, we want it to feel like you’ve walked into a Ritz Carlton, the most respectful, beautiful.
[00:14:40] Location and not putting any age-ism into the technology, which quite honestly, I had seen in the past where things that were created might not be what you would want to interact with. So we have taken a very different tact on that and made sure that multi-generational use and beautiful and respectful technology for everybody is what we deliver.
Hanh Brown: [00:14:59] A technology that is multi-generational is huge. Since the users are grandparents that are in their mid eighties, then you have children, forties and fifties, and then the grandchildren. So it sounds like it’s very interactive. Multi-generational friendly for families who stay engaged. Plus the staff members.
[00:15:18] It sounds like this technology can help reduce depression and loneliness. So a family members use it accordingly. So one of the key components of having a brain healthy lifestyle is to stay in connected and engaged with your service.
Sarah Hoit: [00:15:31] I’m so glad you asked that because clearly wellness. And brain health and all those, we are very passionate contributors to everything that’s going on around health.
[00:15:41] And in fact, I would actually argue as I think many of the researchers would that the most important piece of health to start with is breaking that isolation gap. Because someone who feels as if no one cares that they got up in the morning is far less likely. To be active, take the medications. They need to get their exercise.
[00:15:59] Depression and isolation are prevalent in an aging population. And our number one ability to combat that and start down a wellness and health track is to have that sense of connection, which has been proven over and over again. Right. I believe that someone else cares. I get up in the morning and live my best life I’m going to, and then clearly.
[00:16:18] Our platform was built with API. So we have a lot of partners. So let’s just say I’m in a community that has a provider, like a point click care we can integrate with others. So that seamlessly staff, when they input data in one place, it can flow through elsewhere. We’ve also integrated with some groups like we have world-class concierge services to give both residents and family members, peace of mind, and extra support and staff.
[00:16:42] We have Lyft family rides. We have all these personal products that can be delivered to make your room feel more like home, et cetera. So our ability to integrate is something that we built into our system and that ultimate integration with healthcare and an area that we’re working on in brain health.
[00:16:59] There’s different pillars to brain health, but three of the most important things you can do with any dementia or Alzheimer’s is social interaction, your physical exercise, what you eat and mindfulness. And all of these things, we can be a part of in terms of serving up information, reminders, tracking steps, that whole social piece.
Hanh Brown: [00:17:18] So it sounds like this technology is a connector allowing you to connect with whatever device or all their systems in the community.
Sarah Hoit: [00:17:26] The piece that we provide on that entire health spectrum and wellness spectrum is maybe one of the most critical, even though I don’t develop a single piece of healthcare technology, it is that connector and that purpose and sort of breaking that barrier.
[00:17:41] And then we can connect to whatever device or other system a community has for the rest of their medical records or needs.
Hanh Brown: [00:17:47] Is the technology robust and compatible and interactive to other partnerships?
Sarah Hoit: [00:17:52] Well, to be clear, our technology and our company is very open to partnership. We do not believe that any one group can do this alone and that to be the trusted brand and provider that brings that end point, you know, the devices and a way that everyone can communicate.
[00:18:09] What the communities and others pick our clients or partners pick as their methodology for then the healthcare piece and that entire part of the plan. We usually end up having to partner with other groups for that and are happy to do so.
Hanh Brown: [00:18:23] So what paradigm, Schiff ] or roadblock did you have to overcome in explaining about the technology earlier on.
[00:18:28] Since it hasn’t been done before.
Sarah Hoit: [00:18:29] Well, I think the first roadblock as in any new business or something that hasn’t been done before, right. Is if it didn’t exist before, why do we need it now? So we did have a period of time in which we were convincing people that something they hadn’t had before was really game-changing and impactful.
[00:18:46] And I think it probably took longer to see the kind of penetration that we have right now. But I can tell you in the last 24 months and boy, you know, this industry. It’s a flood gate and it’s gone from a nice to have, which we, I think we were in the beginning or a luxury to an absolute must have, or nobody’s coming in future years, if you’re not a connected community.
[00:19:06] And I think the decision that we made to really invest, not just in slapping something out there. Right. But to really build. Beautiful respectful technology. That was cutting edge. That was the best of breed. If I’m going to do a sign, it’s going to be beautiful and look like the Ritz Carlton. If I’m going to build an app, it’s going to be a real app.
[00:19:23] I mean, we had Apple health in here brainstorming with us and talking to those, we really, the design and the delivery is really important. So I think the roadblocks we had early on were really convincing an industry because we were ahead of our time that this was going to be essential, but right now, no convincing needed people understand that it’s game changing.
[00:19:41] We even have one of our first communities we’re connected with the Apple watch, where everything’s going to be delivered from the watch. Everyone’s going to have a smartphone, the voice, you know, the families are all connected. It’s all tied in with a wellness, the time capsule program we have in storytelling as a piece of the programming.
[00:19:59] And we can only do so much. We need our partners. Our amazing senior living partners to join us on that journey and say, these are all the pieces I want to do. And together we can deliver an incredible experience. And the one thing that I will say as I endlessly feel like this industry is misunderstood.
[00:20:15] So I’m glad we’re doing this podcast and that we’re talking because if many of the people I knew could walk into the buildings and the amazing providers that we have the pleasure of working with and see the community and how amazing. The food is and the spaces and the vibrancy. It’s not what everybody imagines.
[00:20:31] And I feel like we’re a big piece of making the community more of a home, the home closer. And quite honestly, I see the two as blended. I believe that the community is right now with everything we offer can be a hub. There’s no reason that my grandma couldn’t necessarily live right up the street and still have the senior living community.
[00:20:48] Even if she didn’t move in as her center of. Connection communication and socialization, but she could go back and forth and go home between the transportation and the food and the connection. So I see a whole new world where 94% or whatever people are aging at home. And no matter how many beautiful communities we build, the numbers are staggering.
[00:21:06] And that there’s a way of really connecting the dots where that community is just this hub of communication, vibrancy, wellness, and whether you’re staying there full time, or whether you are using it as the community is your connecting place.
Hanh Brown: [00:21:20] So this technology offers options that enabled the loved ones to control their own destiny and chart out their path of the day-to-day activities, whether by accessing community services or creating communities that can afford more control of housing and healthcare needs.
[00:21:36] This enables more aging in a community and a decentralized care.
Sarah Hoit: [00:21:41] So I see a lot coming in the future and I’m just so excited to be a part of it and to have a chance to work with the kinds of partners that are really changing the game and having higher expectations for, I want every senior treated exactly the way that I would’ve wanted for my gram.
[00:21:57] And we started this company. Like this time capsule I didn’t have for her. I don’t have all of her voice recorded. And now as a family, we’ve done a lot around stories, but a lot of the things I’m talking about were there for her. I would have known something was wrong with my grandfather. If I could have heard his voice and had some of the location and other pieces I have right now.
[00:22:17] And so for me, as you were saying in your family, some of these things that we’ve built and that we have did not exist and would have been game changing. So I’m living in, and our team is filled with innovators, people who came from senior living, people who weren’t in senior living. But the one thing we do here is try to shake it up every day and say, we are nowhere close.
[00:22:39] We have worked passionately and diligently to be ahead of the market and bringing the things that we would want for our own families. You feel every day, like you’ve just scratched the surface so much is happening right now. And so we are also the kind of company that is doing, you know, regular releases, monthly releases on our technology, which you will see because an innovative idea comes up and we have the in-house dev team.
[00:22:59] We put it in place and our clients have it within a quarter. So that’s the way we are looking at constant evolution and the strength of partnership and being that trusted. Place and brand that, you know, you can find the best of connection and technology. You can find your family and you can build community in one trusted place and partnerships piece of that as well.
Hanh Brown: [00:23:22] Say you have a new staff member or a curtain staff member that is meeting your mind for the first time. This technology allows us staff to already know about your mom’s profile, family, storyline schedule medication, all information that the staff has permission to see.
Sarah Hoit: [00:23:38] Absolutely. If you had known that my grandmother loved Frank Sinatra and seven years into her Alzheimer’s decline, that would have been in who she was and the beach and how she fell in love with Sam and a little bit about her life.
[00:23:49] The entry into that room would have been completely different. You would have had her at hello. So. Speak. Right. And instead of walking into a room where you don’t know somebody, and I think that still happens so much and it really in this day and age, and certainly doesn’t need to. The other thing for us is it is beyond connection.
[00:24:05] This is about fiber and safe. This is about lifelong learning. What would I want if I were there? So we have a connected living university. We have content, there’s all kinds of things that you can do where I want to be connected.
Hanh Brown: [00:24:19] As we wind down to the later years personally. I still want to be thriving learning.
[00:24:25] And one older son know that I’m still here. I’m not decrepit and I’m not fading off. So I hope that the younger generation come around and appreciate my knowledge that I want to pass on. So if you are blessed to live. To where you are in your eighties and nineties. Wow. You would have a lot to pass on to the next generation.
[00:24:45] So this technology allows me to be connected to my families, the senior living and the outside surrounding.
Sarah Hoit: [00:24:51] I want to be connected to my community and I want to live. I have a voice, I have purpose there’s things I need to do. I’m not gone. I’m right here. And that’s why, again, back to our name, we couldn’t say it better because.
[00:25:03] And the other words that we put around it, the words that we are embracing our purpose and freedom and legacy and joy, this is a moment to kind of celebrate and give the best we still have. And so often people feel like I’m at the end of the road, and that is just not the case. And so we’ve really taken the opportunity to use this as an empowerment.
[00:25:23] And unleashing of purpose and voice. And I think boy, for the world to hear from these amazing people, I was in a community the other day with a woman who’s a Holocaust survivor and people who’ve invented the cars that we all drive.
Hanh Brown: [00:25:37] when you walk into the residence room, you had the opportunity to absorb their legacy, the history and the wisdom of over 80 years from the residents.
Sarah Hoit: [00:25:46] God you think of the last hundred years of history and they’re they set and they’re incredible. And so we have a completely different, like how lucky are we all of us to be blessed with this generation and actually to be connected to them, which as we started this company, people really weren’t because that disconnection and the technology presence wasn’t there.
[00:26:07] And so for me, we’re all the winners here and it’s affecting us as profoundly as. That’s breaking that isolation and loneliness that is so prevalent in an agent group. And I would say much less prevalent in these beautiful communities that really are there to bring people together. So we’re obviously excited and obviously do not feel like we are done because there’s so much yet to do.
[00:26:28] And we were fortunate this past year. I’m leading age. Cast did a really beautiful case study called innovative voice and smart home technologies to enhance resident engagement, staff efficiencies, using our kind of leading edge in the market on this. And I’m telling you, we don’t know all the data of what’s going to happen a couple of years from now because it’s that new.
[00:26:48] But as one of the very first entrance, first ones to do kind of smart home across the board and you know, there’s stuff happening right now that is really game changing, but I want everyone out there to know to technology. This doesn’t have to be a huge spend. This is simple. People already have screens on the wall that can be transformed into something really beautiful with a backend digital signage.
[00:27:09] We have people already have computers and smart devices. Every family member has one in their hands. And with connected living. If you don’t have a device, if you’re my gram and or your grandmother, and she wants something, we can help her get it and have it set up. So that $45 or $95 Alexa or show device shows up with a skill on it, where I can ask my community for the information or I can connect to my family.
[00:27:35] So the ability to have access. Is not some insurmountable thing. Most of the technology need is already in the building. It takes a sophisticated system behind the scenes who has really developed a connected suite. Like we have to turn it on. We can do this for people in two weeks to 30 days. This isn’t like, Oh my gosh, I’ve now got to change everything.
[00:27:54] It’s technology. We can turn it on. And it’s beautiful. And you have your own private community app and you have your design and. So I also want people to take that fear factor away of, well, gosh, I can’t do all this as such a beautiful what you have. That’s what we’re here for. And there really isn’t a community out there that can’t have this level of connection for their staff, residents and families.
[00:28:15] It really is. Now the expectation.
Hanh Brown: [00:28:17] So does a senior living community have to be connected in order for the residents to be connected.
Sarah Hoit: [00:28:22] Yes. I mean, I would say yes to know that, to take advantage of everything. We’ve just talked about content management system and information flowing through seamlessly to all the constituents.
[00:28:32] Yes. You have to have a content management system on the backend. We do have the ability for people to download a private connected living app that is not connected to a community. You can just connect your family. So they certainly can do that with us, but you’re missing a half of what it means to be in that community and access those other pieces.
[00:28:50] But I do connected living with my family. I do my time capsule every week. I connect with my children. In fact, everyone’s on there several times a day. It’s our private place to connect and talk with each other on things that we might just not be putting out to the whole world. Sadly, I’m also living this personally.
[00:29:04] My husband actually has early onset Alzheimer’s himself and little did I know as we started all this, how close it was going. To hit my family and you feel like you’re prepared and you’re never prepared. Right. But boy, we’ve got so much more now than, as I said, I had from my grandparents, dealing with it.
[00:29:21] One-on-one with somebody quite young in this situation. So there is an ability to use our technology just within a family, but it’s much more powerful. If you have this whole suite, you can bring to bear.
Hanh Brown: [00:29:32] 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 to 70 a day. So you are absolutely preparing to take on this growing demographic.
Sarah Hoit: [00:29:40] Yes. And I think you just said something really important. You know, our lens, I already said that as we build technology, our lens is actually multi-generational. But one of the primary lenses we have is that family member, boomer, caregiver, and resident at the future, you know, they have. They are responsible for everything, mom and dad and their kids and they’re working.
[00:30:00] And, you know, we find about caregivers is often they get sicker than the people they’re caring for because they are just trying to do everything. And we have a real lens to that. And they’re often as we know, depending on if it’s a memory care or a highly assisted community, they’re also the primary decision maker in those scenarios.
[00:30:17] So we’ve given them all kinds of tools for peace of mind, everything from the connection, the communication. The location and movement to concierge services and lift family rides and things for them while I’m helping the rest of the world. And I need to get a birthday present from my best friend or plan a trip or something else.
[00:30:34] And you’re thinking about that, that family member is a really important piece of the puzzle because whether they’re there day in and day out, they’re thinking about the situation and their loved one every single day. And so we have absolutely included them forefront as we develop this suite of technology and as a decision-maker.
[00:30:52] You walk into a sales office and they tell you, day one, you’re going to be connected. You have a window in whatever devices you want for mom and dad. And we will train them, you know, from a tablet to the Alexa, to the signage. And you walk into a meeting like that. You’re going to have information it’s really unexpected and really delightful.
[00:31:09] And you’re going to hear it from us on a regular basis. Not just when there’s a problem. I mean, these are all things that people are not used to. You can share stories. So I think for the family member, not just the resident, this is a game changer.
Hanh Brown: [00:31:22]Aging at home with a proper care. As long as you can is ideal.
[00:31:25] However, there comes a time when your loved ones might need 24 seven care, then you have to weigh in to trade-off getting an in-home care or having a daughter, son leave their career to care for you as compared to the loss of income compared to the monthly fees of moving into a community.
Sarah Hoit: [00:31:43] Absolutely.
[00:31:44] And, you know, I think often in families, too, there’s one person who takes a lot of the responsibility. You know, there’s might be a family of people, but there’s always that one. And this also gives a way of distributing connection, communication, inspiration. If you knew. That the iPad was next to mom’s better on her desk.
[00:32:03] And that the pictures that were coming through that had been shared with the family, the hockey games and the celebrations and the surprises and all the rest were something she was going to see. That’s something everybody can participate in and do, and being connection, not just that one person who has maybe set up as that primary caregiver, quote unquote, you know, this is a family thing and it allows people in a dispersed way to.
[00:32:25] You know, and maybe there’s a question of the week and what was your favorite vacation? And people can chime in. I mean, there’s so much that can happen, certainly from the younger generation, forget the rest of us. If you can just connect the grandkids and the seniors now it’s game over and they have a chance to connect and communicate.
[00:32:41] So opens up a world of possibility and in a broken community and world in which people do not only States apart, but countries apart, there’s a real opportunity to connect. Absolutely
Hanh Brown: [00:32:55] how my family stay in touch with my mom. He said, we have a camera. We write down the schedule on a bulletin board. And when a sibling comes over to feed or give medication or base, all of that will be written on the bulletin board.
[00:33:09] We also write down her temperament what items that still need to be done for the day. So everything is manual. So I love everything. What you’re doing to enable families and staff to stay connected.
Sarah Hoit: [00:33:21] And I’m so appreciative for everything that you and everyone else in this industry, you know, we all have an aging population globally and families that are a part and everyone’s desire to bring honor respect and connection together.
[00:33:35] This is a really important moment. And one in which we’ve now crossed a barrier or a bridge really. And. Connecting an aging population is no longer, Hey, you guys can’t do that. Which is what people starting to say to us 10 years ago. It is absolutely expected and how people want to connect and what methods they choose and where they are on their journey is all very different, but it’s there.
[00:33:56] And now that people know it is what’s going to happen in the next 12 months in this industry, I think is going to be stunning. And I really believe in four to five years that nobody will come to a building where these types of services are not offered elegantly and beautifully, because why would you, when you could have a connected life and it’s going to be an expectation?
[00:34:13] I think it already is. We’ve seen a sea change and in the end, To live our best lives of wellness. And really, for me, as I mentioned, this whole voice story and legacy piece is just really important because you appreciate the people you have in front of you and all that they have to give this should really be a reversed equation and all that.
[00:34:32] We are still getting from the gift of their voice and their experience. So it’s very much when you look at our technology, it’s very people-centered purpose centered and story-based, and about life. And I think that’s why we’ve had such success at connection, because if you’re just constantly being reminded that you’re old or something’s wrong, or someone’s building technology, that seems disrespectful while you’re not really going to participate in certainly the other family members aren’t.
[00:34:57] So our lens just was very different in how to go about it. And I think right now is really paying off. We’re excited and honored to be part of this industry and excited to work with everybody out there. Who’s going after the same thing we are, which is to bring the most vibrant and connected life we can to this amazing generation and the generations to come.
[00:35:17] Oh, that’s
Hanh Brown: [00:35:17] perfect. That is awesome. You have this vision, that lines up with what I aim to do with our community. How I look at it as this, we are all elderly in the making in our aging process. It doesn’t matter what place you’re in or where you are in your life. Whether you have dementia, or if you are in early or later, stage of dementia, the goal is to celebrate wherever you are, all the way down to your last breath.
[00:35:41] Of course you will mourn and grieve as you see your loved one’s health and memory decline, but there comes a point where you have to embrace it and honor it and enjoy it wherever they are. They are still with us physically and they have, or they are in an encyclopedia of knowledge. So let’s absorb that wisdom.
[00:35:59] You’re absolutely right. The people that benefit the most is you and I, because we can gain insight from their knowledge. I think it’s wonderful. Wow. Congratulations to you.
Sarah Hoit: [00:36:10] Well, thank you and do you as well, and I thank you for your interest and passion and connection in this industry. And let’s all keep working to bring the best possible experience and connection to not only the amazing communities that we’re serving, but all the residents and families who are a part of it.
[00:36:27] And the one other thing I will say before we. Oh, as the staff, we’ve become very close with the staff. And this is an industry again, I think sometimes misunderstood. We know there’s a staffing shortage in the industry and treat and provide resources to this amazing group of people who choose to come really do God’s work and care for others while they have families too.
[00:36:47] I think there’s so much about what we’re delivering that can make their jobs easier and modern and relevant and efficient and walking into a room where, you know, somebody, what a difference. To come in and give them joy versus just fulfilling a task. And so I think all that we’ve talked about, the staff senior living industry staff is such a critical piece of this and treating them like the gold that they are and giving them tools to be their best is going to be really important.
[00:37:13] Both for the staff that’s there today and recruiting all the amazing people we’re going to need for the generations to come.
Hanh Brown: [00:37:19] Absolutely. You are spot on and thank you so much.
Sarah Hoit: [00:37:23] Oh, it’s a pleasure. It’s such a pleasure. And you know, this is, as you can probably tell this as a labor of love and it is personal and this team, uh, we love what we do, and we are truly honored every day to be able to work in this industry and with so closely with the families and the residents and staff, and look forward to all this to come in 2020.
Hanh Brown: [00:37:43] Thank you, Sarah.