News

September 18, 2019 | Written by: Maura McGowan

Managed WiFi Within Senior Living MDUs

Why Switching to Managed WiFi Will Benefit Your Senior Living Community

As the “Baby Boomer” generation, which makes up about 22% of America’s population, continues to age, the assisted and senior living industries are seeing substantial growth. Due to improved quality of health and longer life expectancies, the population of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to reach 98 million by 2060. With that, comes an increase in senior housing, assisted living, and retirement facilities. Furthermore, as more and more tech-savvy seniors move into these multi-dwelling units (MDUs), the demand for wireless connectivity becomes apparent. Managed WiFi services within assisted and senior living has several advantages for retirement MDU operators and staff, as well as for residents. By implementing managed WiFi and providing a reliable internet connection to residents and workers, MDU operators can increase revenue, deliver a superior amenity, and set themselves apart from the competition.

What exactly is managed WiFi? WiFi networks are constantly changing, and people are relying more than ever on fast, dependable internet connections. If your network connection isn’t strong and stable, residents will find a new community where it is. Managed WiFi is an ecosystem that is designed as a utility, revolves around security, and provides property-wide coverage for wireless connection, as well as for health monitoring wearables, patient location tracking, and facility automation and Internet of Things (IoT). To ensure your network is optimized to meet the needs of your clients, managed WiFi services exist to monitor and secure private WiFi networks to enhance your users’ experience. With the introduction of 802.11ax, the emerging WiFi standard with higher throughput and better performance within crowded spaces now is the ideal time to consider implementing managed WiFi. Doing so requires considerable knowledge, attention, and resources to implement and continually support.

Nowadays, seniors are bringing more than their books when they move into retirement communities. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, 67% percent of adults over 65 use the internet, and four-in-ten own smartphones. As more technologically advanced Americans cross into retirement age every day, these statistics will only continue to rise. For retirement community operators, now is the time to begin planning, improving, and expanding their onsite managed wireless networks. With WiFi growing more important and becoming the “fourth utility”, senior residents will expect reliable internet from owners and operators, just as they do electricity and heat.

Implementing managed WiFi in retirement communities not only benefits the residents, but it also benefits the staff. Managed WiFi within entire retirement community MDUs will lead to better overall coverage, making it easier for staff members to do their job properly. Poor performing internet due to randomly placed WiFi access points (APs), or residents using the “bring your own internet” (BYOI) method, can result in problematic interruptions in the medical space. Additionally, with always available MDU WiFi, owners and operators can ensure 24/7 security of their retirement communities with monitored surveillance, asset and people tracking, and emergency alerting services. Not only do these powerful services provide secure communities for residents and staff, it puts families of the residents at ease knowing their loved ones are safe.

Owners and operators of retirement communities can also benefit from implementing MDU WiFi in several ways. By providing a reliable WiFi infrastructure that residents and staff can access throughout the campus, property owners can bundle up the cost in the resident’s monthly payment. The revenue generated from this will more than likely pay for the managed WiFi network in a few years. Providing managed WiFi can also attract potential clientele, as well as retain current residents. With the increasing number of tech-savvy seniors, a community with high-performing WiFi will be more appealing than one where traditional BYOI method is used. Additionally, MDU WiFi will make it easier to manage wireless services with on-premise or cloud management options, as well as expanding into new wireless business services such as keyless entry, Smart Home capabilities, and analytics. By implementing managed WiFi services throughout retirement communities, owners are offering an amenity that will help increase revenue, appeal to the growing senior population, boost retention, and provide a solid foundation to continue to technologically advance.

Business Information Group (BIG) Wireless can help senior housing, assisted living, and retirement facility owners and operators set their communities apart from the competition by securely onboarding and managing a wireless network for your MDU community. BIG Wireless’ experts ensure the most dependable and high-performing wireless solutions are installed and continually monitored. Solutions include network evaluations that will determine the best solutions for your organization; full WLAN/WiFi and mesh monitoring and support; network performance optimization; 24/7/365 help desk support; and affordable monthly costs with leasing options available. As WiFi has become a critical aspect of network connection infrastructure, ensuring your residents’ connection experience is reliable and maintained will only continue to become more pivotal in the success or your company.