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A New Level of Sophistication in Senior Living That is Improving Quality of Life and Profitability

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By Steve Moran

While there are lots of challenges in senior living, it is also a very exciting time. Senior living organizations are growing in sophistication and actively exploring how to create better experiences for residents, family members and team members.  

It is still early in the game but as this trend continues to expand we will see higher satisfaction scores and longer lengths of stay, all of which will translate into higher occupancy levels and higher profitability. A big part of what makes being a part of Senior Housing Forum so exciting is that many of our partners are leading this charge.

One of those organizations is Independa, a Senior Housing Forum partner and a company that allows residents to easily communicate with their senior living community, family and friends. I recently had a chance to visit with Mike Perry, the CEO of The Wellbridge Group, about how they are using the Independa system to provide improved quality of life and health.

WellBridge Group

WellBridge Group came into being in 2012. They have 612 bed in 6 post acute rehab communities in Michigan. When the company was founded, it was with the goal of providing a unique technology-based program that would allow team members to maximize the amount of time they spent working with guests. Here is how Independa is a big part of their ecosystem:

  • They are using the system every day for messaging to residents. This includes things like physical therapy and other activities, as well as bistro menu selections. This keeps residents up to date and reduces staff burden.

  • It has become a valuable tool for connecting residents with family members. In one instance a guest was able to attend the wedding of a family member, something that would not have happened without the Independa system.

The Marriage of Homecare and Rehab Through Technology

This is perhaps the most exciting part of the Wellbridge/Independa story.

We as an industry are doing a lot to reduce hospital readmissions but there is still a lot of room for improvement. WellBridge is doing a great job of tackling this challenge with residents, during their stay in the community, but they have found that when those residents are discharged to home health there is a spike in readmissions, that is largely preventable.

They went looking for a homecare agency that would work with them to tackle this problem. So here is what happens . . . when a WellBridge guest gets discharged to home the resident is connected to the WellBridge Team via Independa. This then gives WellBridge the ability to actively monitor and manage the rehabilitation process.

  • They are able to give medication reminders

  • Do wellness checks

  • Keep these individuals connected with family members

  • Use the Independa system as a telehealth platform that allows physicians or physician proxies to do home calls without ever needing to leave their office. This is particularly important because when a patient is at home and experiences a change in condition the physician’s default response is “send them to the emergency department”. This is often not good for residents and is expensive to the system.

    When a physician beams into the patient's home there are more options. They might include a change in medication or transfer back to the WellBridge Community.


On April 19 at 10:00 AM (Pacific), Independa is sponsoring a Pacific Senior Housing Forum webinar with ProMatura, where Margaret Wylde and Kian Saneii will be talking about how their two organizations have teamed up to give senior living communities the tools they need to help residents see their senior living communities as Home. Margaret will review industry statistics and best practices, including move ins. Participation is limited. You can sign-up for this free webinar by clicking the button below:

For information about Independa, visit their website by clicking on the logo button below:

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