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HEALTHTAC East 2024: Emphasizing Connection and Tools in Senior Living

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The HEALTHTAC East 2024 event has set a new benchmark in collaborative discussion for the senior living industry. With an agenda that covered a variety of vital topics, the event paved the way for future trends and innovations. Among the most insightful sessions was a panel that shed light on the importance of resident connections within senior living communities.



HEALTHTAC stands as an essential convergence of senior living industry leaders, where ideas, experiences, and strategies intersect to create a roadmap for exceptional resident care. The event is not just a conference but a consortium for sharing best practices and setting standards that define quality senior living experiences.

In its latest iteration, HEALTHTAC East 2024, panelists and participants explored new horizons in resident engagement, community building, and personalized care, underscoring the commitment of the industry to adapt and evolve in the service of its residents.


Community Tables and Inclusive Dining Experiences

Kristin Ward, co-CEO of AgeWell Solvere Living, introduced a novel concept that’s been transforming the dining experience within their communities. By integrating ‘community tables’ into dining rooms, they have effectively dismantled the cliques often found in communal eating spaces, fostering a welcoming environment for all residents, particularly the newcomers.

This initiative requires residents to sign up to dine at the community table, where resident ambassadors join in, ensuring that new residents feel included from their very first meal. The concept has gained immense popularity, leading to a pleasant problem where reservations are needed to secure a spot at these tables. It’s a testament to the eagerness with which residents anticipate meeting and interacting with peers outside their usual social circles.

Importance of Community Connection

The discourse on community connection was a central theme, recognized as the linchpin of the senior living experience. The panelists concurred that the sense of belonging, and community significantly influences residents’ overall well-being and satisfaction.

Experts highlighted the fact that social bonds contribute to both physical and mental health outcomes. Communities that prioritize these connections not only enrich the lives of their residents but also set the standard for what senior living can and should aspire to be – a place of warmth, inclusion, and engagement.


AgeWell Solvere Living’s ‘Toolbox’ For Senior Living Communities

At the core of the HEALTHTAC discussion on enhancing resident engagement is what Kristin Ward refers to as the ‘toolbox.’ This concept represents the foundational elements essential for creating a vibrant community within senior living facilities. Ward encourages adding a personal touch of creativity to this toolbox, tailoring it to the unique personalities and preferences of the residents.

The idea is to start with a robust framework but then allow for adaptation and customization. For example, their quarterly program ‘Travel Times’ is designed to incorporate various dimensions of wellness. It includes intellectual stimulation, such as learning a new language through weekly classes, and cultural immersion, where residents not only taste international cuisine but also participate in cooking it. The choice of countries to ‘visit’ lies in the hands of the residents, fostering a sense of ownership and involvement.

This creative engagement is nurtured through competitions that celebrate the most innovative ideas brought to life by residents and staff. From crafting koi ponds to participating in bonsai tree trimming activities while ‘visiting’ Japan, these initiatives showcase the incredible creativity and engagement within the community. This toolbox, thus, is not just about the activities themselves but about sparking joy, learning, and connection among residents.

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