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Customer Spotlight: Kaplan Development Group

July 24, 2018Nick Nemer

The LifeLoop team works hard to deliver a great product. But, it's our customers that truly realize the platform's potential.

Amy Cullen has a unique perspective to share. She’s the Corporate Life Engagement Director at Kaplan Development Group, a New Jersey-based company overseeing 21 senior living communities on the east coast. She knows how much LifeLoop can help a large system connect their teams.

But Amy has another title, too. She’s the Activities Director at Bentley Assisted Living at Branchville, one of the communities under Kaplan’s management. So she also reports from the trenches, seeing first-hand how LifeLoop benefits her residents.

Her dual roles — and the considerable responsibilities that come with them — have made Amy particularly grateful for LifeLoop’s suite of features.

“I find it to be so helpful,” Amy says. “I frequently recommend it to anyone I talk to.”

Here’s why LifeLoop gets Amy’s endorsement.

Better Oversight

Start with how LifeLoop helps Amy as a corporate manager.

The platform gives Amy a view into how her staff is doing across all 21 communities. Individual Life Enrichment Directors (LEDs) upload their activities, and through LifeLoop’s cloud-based platform, Amy gets instant access to them.

“It’s great how I can look at everyone’s activity calendars in the entire Kaplan system,” Amy says. “It helps me see how people are doing without having to hound them for records.”

This gives Amy the ability to guide LEDs that struggle to engage their residents, as well as highlight strong performers.

LifeLoop also helps Amy reinforce the kind of behavior she wants to see from her staff. By making processes visible and easy, LifeLoop removes barriers to getting the job done.

“Now that everyone knows I can see who’s taking attendance, everyone’s been doing it! And really, now there’s no excuse not to do it. It’s just so easy to catalog what we’re doing,” Amy says.

Saves Time and Effort

In her role as an individual LED, Amy’s especially grateful for how LifeLoop streamlines staff communication.

“Before we had LifeLoop the process took so long,” Amy says. “We had to go and leave messages about our concerns in the Comms Book, and that could be really far away.”

Now, LifeLoop connects all of her in-building staff with a simple instant-messenger. And even better, they can carry that messenger with them in their pockets.

“The mobile aspect of it is huge,” Amy says. “I love that I can use it on my [phone’s] data — WiFi’s not reliable in every part of our building — so I can check my calendar wherever.”

She says this comes in handy when she’s off-campus, too.

“If I get to the store to buy supplies and I forgot my shopping list, I can just consult my calendar right there and figure out what I need. Or if I’m in bed and I realize I forgot to take attendance for an activity that day, I can just take out my phone and take care of it right there.”

Easier Activity Plans

But that’s not the only way LifeLoop saves Amy some worry. It also takes away some of the burden of activity planning.

“The Reports Page is very helpful,” Amy says. “You can see the top five or the bottom five activities, in terms of attendance, every month.”

That helps her assess what activities are a draw, and which ones she might be better off re-thinking.

A bigger time-saver is how LifeLoop automates planning for recurring activities. Birthdays, holidays, and repeating celebrations are automatically populated every month.

“It’s a lot of work up front, because you have to upload all this information into the calendar. Once you get that done, though, it’s so easy.”

With the recurring activities taken care of, LEDs can focus more attention on the unique plans that come up every month.

“We have more time to focus,” Amy says. “We can take our time make these non-recurring events a little more special.”

Fulfilling Expectations

Of course, from her corporate position, Amy can’t neglect the role that LifeLoop plays in sales. Many Kaplan branches agree: LifeLoop is a powerful sales tool.

“When we’re giving them tours and we tell them, ‘yeah we can add you to this app with pictures of your loved one that you can access any time,’ of course they’re happy about that!” Amy says.

She’s also noticed that this has become more important as time goes on.

“The families that are bringing in new residents,” she says, “they’re getting more and more tech savvy. They’re starting to expect something like this. In the future I really think something like LifeLoop could be the minimum.”

Better Bonding

That’s a reasonable assessment. Today’s families live in a connected world. They don’t want to break a connection with their loved ones just because they’ve joined a senior living community.

“Bringing that visibility and transparency into their lives is important,” Amy says. “Family members want to know what’s going on when they’re not around.”

But it’s even more helpful when family members come visit.

“Oh it’s so great for memory care. For family members, when they come by, it can be hard to connect with the resident sometimes. Can be hard for them to find things to talk about. But when they have a picture from LifeLoop, they can say, ‘Oh, mom, I saw you were out in the garden yesterday,’ or ‘did you have fun at bingo?’. That’s a conversation-starter. It can spark a real dialogue.”

And as anyone whose life has been affected by dementia can tell you, those dialogues are precious.

Part of dementia’s awful toll is the sense of isolation it imposes. As memory declines and patients lose their ability to communicate, it becomes harder for loved ones to find opportunities to feel a meaningful sense of connection. A platform like LifeLoop may be one of the only ways they have to learn about their loved one’s life.

In the face of such a challenge, showing a resident’s day-to-day activities might seem like a small thing. But for these family members — it’s absolutely priceless.

Stay in the Loop.

Designed with you in mind, 'In The Loop’ is a blog offering industry insights, news, and ideas straight to your inbox. Each month we will share industry topics and provide tips on best practices for connecting with families, engaging with residents and streamlining operations.