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In order to meet the demands of current and potential residents and their families—as well as attract qualified long-term staff and stave off high turnover—senior living providers are charged with adopting technology that will be attractive to all audiences they serve.

Lilian Myers

Lilian Myers, who leads IBM’s Global Aging Initiative, will be presenting on the Mainstage at the 2018 Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference, where she will discuss how to design a future of technology in senior living communities. During her presentation, Myers will discuss the steps needed to meet this technology challenge. Ahead of her presentation, she shared three key strategies:

Design thinking

When leaders choose technologies for their communities, they are most likely making decisions from an organizational standpoint. The problem is, according to Myers, this kind of thinking does not always take into account the people they are trying to serve. A better approach is design thinking, which occurs when leaders truly put themselves in the shoes of their stakeholders—whether it be residents, their family members, or even a community’s own staff.

“This is the process of designing for instead of about,” she said. “Things take on a whole different light when you get out of your organizational suit and into your human body.”


Once administrators begin to see a problem from the point of view of the people they’re trying to help, they’re better equipped to obtain feedback from those stakeholders. This happens during the co-creation step of technology adoption.

“Here you’re affirming the needs and the gaps, and then making suggestions that came up during internal design thinking to see how they resonate. This will stimulate newer and better ideas to get to the same objective,” Myers said.

Failing fast

At first blush, this strategy may sound counter-intuitive because obviously no one wants to implement a system only to have it fail. However, Myers says the quickest way to ensure the successful rollout of a technology is to fail on a small scale as soon as possible during a pilot program.

“Failing fast means starting small, spending less, focusing on what you can do and what it will yield you, and then determining how to scale the things that work,” she said. “This way, you know exactly what your investments get you.”


Register for the 2018 Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference

Join us May 14-16, 2018 in San Diego to find out more strategies for adopting technology in a senior living organization.

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