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Newport Beach

Volume 6, Issue 38  | May 11, 2021

Atria Newport Beach makes technology easier for senior residents

Every workday, Dori Redman arrives at Atria Newport Beach with a mission in mind – to help older people understand and use the technology that can make their lives easier and more comfortable. As Digital Innovation Director, Redman treasures the time she spends with residents at the new, modern community and the residents love having her around. 

Redman is on the leading edge of an emerging need in senior living: connecting residents to technology at the user level while also managing other tech platforms that help deliver care services and enhance community life overall. 

Residents have all kinds of requests. “Can you look at my phone and tell me why it isn’t charging?” “Can you walk me through how this remote controls my window shades, my thermostat and my TV?” “Can you help me set up a FaceTime with my grandchildren?” 

Atria Dori Redman

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Photos courtesy of Atria Newport Beach

(L-R) Atria Newport Beach’s Digital Innovation Director Dori Redman with resident Marlene S.

“The personal interaction that comes with the request is more rewarding than teaching new technology,” said Redman. “Technology should bring people together, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to achieve here.”

On any given day, Redman not only helps residents with their smart home automation and other technology, but she also makes sure new residents are trained on the tech, that apartments are “rent ready” from a technology standpoint and that residents’ wearable technology is functioning properly. The wearable tech is actually a wristband that serves as two-way communications with staff, enables contact tracing when necessary and is also a resident’s touchless entry to their apartment (a feature amplified due to the pandemic as it creates fewer physical touches). 

Atria veranda

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Carefully designed communal spaces and smart home technology along with safety initiatives offer residents a comfortable and convenient lifestyle at Atria Newport Beach

Redman recently shared a heartwarming chronicle of a day in her life with Atria’s management team. Here’s an excerpt that gives a glimpse into the tech advances in senior living and their practical applications:

I check on Mrs. V to see how she is doing with using all the technology features in her apartment: the automated window shades, lighting and smart thermostat and the remote that controls them all. 

We spend a few minutes chatting about her successes and I ask about any challenges. She mentions wanting to have the window shade only partially lowered, so I demonstrate how to press the switch a few times until it reaches the level she likes. I then review the difference between the shade control button on the remote and the wall switch. 

“Ah yes, I remember that now. That is good, thank you,” she says, laughing. “I’ve never been good with this electronic stuff.” I assure Mrs. V that she’s actually doing great and that I am happy to stop by anytime.

I next meet with Mrs. A in the main living room, where I find her sitting near the fireplace. She explains she would like a different wristband – something softer. “Sure, I’d be glad to show you a couple other options,” I offer. She then asks about her door lock, and I offer to walk her back to her apartment so we can check it. We chat about the view out the windows and the weather while we walk. At her door, I guide her to hold her Tempo (wristband) until it touches the door lock. When the light flashes green and unlocks, she smiles broadly and thanks me.

“Older adults are great learners,” Redman said. “It just comes with a lifetime that spans the greatest technology leap in the history of mankind – with everything ranging from TV to microwave ovens to putting a man on the moon to the revolution in cell phones and online shopping – their generation has seen and done it all. Our job is to help them live their best lives right now. Technology is just one tool we have – but it opens so many doors into better living.”

Atria Newport Beach is located at 4000 Hilaria Way, Newport Beach.

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