Senior Communities Under Pressure To Provide Better Activities

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Senior Communities Under Pressure To Provide Better Activities

Posted on December 15, 2008

Throughout the 20th century, the role and aspect of the senior community in the US has evolved from being a place for impoverished citizens to find their final rest, to the extension of a hospital, to a place for seniors to live their lives with different level of assistance.

In the last decades, there has been a growing demand for these institutions to provide common activities and ordinary life experience. More and more of our growing elderly population elderly are saying: “Moving there is just another step and I don’t want my quality of life to change, I actually want it to be better” This is one of the reasons why it has become a requirement for senior communities to answer these needs.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently revised the 2006 federally-mandated guidelines, or F-Tags, namely, Tag F240: Quality of Life, Tag F241: Dignity, Tag F242: Self-determination and participation and Tag F248: Activities. These regulations are the basis for surveys or inspections done on behalf of CMS by the individual State Survey Agencies. This means that facilities must provide more than one-size-fits-all activities and focus on individual needs assessment if they want to comply and keep their licenses under the agreements in Section 1864 of the Social Security Act.

Understanding and complying with these challenging new regulations is hard. Pressed by tight budgets and high staff turnover, these facilities are in need of safe products and services that promote residents empowerment and autonomy, open the environment to the world while remaining cost effective and adapted to a variety of impairment.

Using today’s technologies is a very efficient way to answer this challenge and provide these institutions with an adapted solution.A good example of such solutions is the Nintendo Wii. Launched in December 2006, the very successful adaptive game system has proven to be a hit in senior communities too. Eriksson Communities organized events such as Wii bowling tournaments in Wii Sports, and eventually the Wii Bowling Championship between facilities. Today, many retirement communities are encouraging seniors with tournaments, trophies and cash prizes.