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Resident Stories Grab Heartstrings and Build Brands

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By Pam McDonald

"It's so amazing, I just love it! I've been in assisted living for nearly 30 years and I wish it had been around when I started." That's Jane Randolph, VP of Resident Engagement for Civitas Senior Living, talking about OneDay – for Senior Living, a resident storytelling video app, and Senior Housing Forum partner.

This powerful mobile app lets staff record their residents stories, themselves, other employees, or family members and, in an instant, have edited HQ (YouTube quality) video that's branded with their community's logo.

OneDay's Many Uses

Jane says, "With OneDay, we record interviews with residents and staff that we can post on our website, our Facebook page, and other social media. We also can share them with families and prospects.

"Back in the ‘olden days', we would send handwritten thank you notes after a tour. Now we can email a very short – about 30 seconds – video. And, we can tailor it to the specific prospect to remind them how we might help."

Living and Working with Passion

Jane also notes, "This is a very exciting time. OneDay allows us to demonstrate what we Activities Directors do. These videos let us show how much passion we bring to our positions."

At Civitas, passion is not merely a buzzword. Their Signature Passion Program was developed because they believe that quality of life requires living with passion – at every age. As stated on their website, the program "gives every member of our team inspiration, motivation and benchmarks to create fulfilling, engaging, purposeful, and passionate experiences for every Civitas resident."

It also helps them integrate their activities, dining, and wellness programs, promote open communications, and facilitate a smooth transition for residents into community life.

Early Adopters

Civitas operates over 35 senior living communities, primarily in Texas, and offers independent and assisted living, as well as memory care. Misti Powell, Co-Founder and Senior VP of Operations, "discovered" OneDay and decided to launch it in about 20 communities.

Staff members were quickly able to use the app since very little time is needed for set up or training. Misti saw that it could effectively showcase their residents as well as staffs’ dedication to passionate senior living. She tasked Jane to introduce OneDay to Activities Directors and Memory Care Coordinators throughout the company.

So Easy to Use

The app comes with a plethora of questions and stories that can be used for resident interviews:

  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • What was the best Christmas you have ever had?
  • Who was your best friend growing up?
  • What was your first date like?

Jane says, "I encourage the team to create a video a day. It's an opportunity for them to spend one-to-one time with residents and get a video that's typically a couple of minutes long."

Spotlighting the Residents

"You'd be surprised how often staff will ask a resident a question and, when families see the video, they say, ‘I had no idea about this' or ‘I didn't know that happened when she was young.'"

Jane claims her favorite videos are those capturing "Miracle Moment" events done four times a year in which residents are feted in some very special and personal way.

For example, one resident wasn't sure he'd ever see his brother again but he was surprised when, as his Miracle Moment, his brother was flown in. The two posed for photos and video. The last one photo they’d taken together was just after they’d both just enlisted in the military!


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