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Retirement’s newest game changer

MyErickson app ‘rich with information about my life at Erickson’

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January 5th, 2018
Blue and Green logo for MyErickson app

Life just got even more convenient for people who live at Wind Crest

The Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., emphasizes active living through convenience, activities and events, and proactive health care. To make the Wind Crest lifestyle even more accessible to its residents, the community recently launched MyErickson, a proprietary app that easily connects community members with everything Wind Crest when and how they want to view it. 

At your fingertips

The free app, currently available to Wind Crest community members for download at Google Play and iTunes, provides in-the-moment access to community information, messages, dining menus, meal balance, activity calendars, transit schedules, local directories, staff information, and more. 

Large type and an intuitive interface makes it easy to use, and the wealth of information accessible with a tap of the screen makes it an invaluable resource.  

“The intent was to provide information for our residents whenever they want it, however they want it, and on whatever devices they want,” says Erickson Living IT Applications Project Manager Kerri Shirey.

“There is no doubt tech-savvy Baby Boomers expect web-based solutions to support their lifestyle,” Shirey says. “Our extensive research with residents and future community members has served as an ideal pathway for making MyErickson a perfect fit to meet the interests and expectations of today’s and tomorrow’s seniors.”

Erickson Living piloted the app at Charlestown and Riderwood, Erickson Living communities located in Maryland. 

When asked how long it’s taken to create the app, Shirey says, “We’re still creating it. It takes years. The first conversation was in 2013, and we’re on the sixth generation.” 

Bill Fritschen, webmaster of the resident-built and -run website mywindcrest.org, says the app is similar to their site. 

He and two other neighbors worked closely with administration to provide feedback during the creation of Wind Crest’s MyErickson app, which had a soft launch in November.

“The big push via community TV, digital signs, word of mouth, and additional Gazette articles will take place beginning in January 2018,” says Community Resources Manager Craig Ellsworth.

While Bill admits they are still some quirks to be worked out, he says, “We were given the opportunity, and I appreciate that very much, to give our two cents. I think we’re making progress.”

Fun with innovation

“It’s really fun to be innovative for a dynamic and diverse group like our senior population. It’s easy to make assumptions about ageism when it comes to how they use technology, but we started out with a group of about 30 residents at both Charlestown and Riderwood who gave us feedback. They were very forthright, which made it easier for us,” Shirey says.

Their feedback included comments like: 

“Keep it simple, clean, high contrast, easy to understand.”

“Do not include any kind of social; I don’t need another Facebook.” 

“Make it rich with information about my life at Erickson. That’s what I need.”

“That’s what we’ve done,” says Shirey.

“The MyErickson App is part of an overarching technology strategy that offers information that our residents can use to create a richer lifestyle,” Shirey says. “You no longer have to search through your paperwork or your calendar. You don’t have to watch a scrolling message on the television. That’s a game changer.”

As of November 1, 2017, MyErickson had more than 1,600 users at five Erickson Living communities.

“My hope is that we can get about 65% to 75% of our current residents activated and using it during the next months,” Ellsworth says. “I believe it will enrich their communication experience and knowledge of how to stay connected within Wind Crest.”


Top ten

The top ten information-rich MyErickson app functions identified (No. 1 being the highest interest) include:

1. My Meal Balance: to check on available meal account balance

2. Bulletin Boards: to access community announcements, alerts

3. My Appointments: to schedule appointments for services like home maintenance

4. Staff Directory: to obtain staff contact information

5. Resident Directory: to obtain resident contact information

6. My Calendar: to maintain a personalized calendar

7. My Events: to view activities and plan attendance at events, e.g., clubs, trips

8. Restaurant Information: to obtain Erickson Living dining information, e.g., hours, menus

9. My Messages: to obtain notices like community messages

10. Clubs, Classes, and Groups: to provide club members access to club-related information

 

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