Residents are embracing new technology to come together and improve communication, with the Community Bubble application, or app, for smartphones recently rolling out at TriCare Retirement Communities. Let’s delve into what the Community Bubble app offers and what residents think of it.
A sparkling idea
The TriCare Community Bubble app is a multi-purpose virtual communication tool for use by residents and staff. It is a community noticeboard, events calendar, booking system, messaging, and more. It offers residents a convenient way to check their community’s latest news and activities, contact fellow residents, form social groups, and even lodge maintenance requests.
Once the app was developed and ready for use, it was time to introduce it to residents!
Floating the app
Introducing something new takes effort, and the village staff did a fantastic job learning all about the app, uploading all necessary information, and holding information sessions for residents. As a result, the uptake of the app has been strong. At Runaway Bay, uptake is close to 40%, which is particularly impressive considering the average resident age is 83. At Hastings Point, uptake is at a very healthy 35%.
Some villages are also looking at incentives and competitions to encourage engagement and are assisting residents in setting up their accounts and offering ongoing training on using the app.
Some of TriCare’s more tech-savvy residents have even jumped on-board with helping other residents become comfortable with the app.
“There are several residents who are always supporting others with technology: setting up people’s TVs, logging on to the wifi network and even those who will help others buy mobile phones just so they can use our app,” says Operations Manager, Andrew George.
So, with residents willing to give it a go, it was time to see whether the Community Bubble app would fly high or pop.
Community Bubble: fizz or gurgle?
The good news is that the TriCare Community Bubble app is proving to be a success. At Runaway Bay, residents are using the app to engage in events and news in real time and appreciate efficient communication with staff.
“Residents are using the app for maintenance requests, logging them, monitoring the progress of requests, and talking and getting updates directly from the maintenance team,” said Administration Officer Nicole Muir.
At Hastings Point, the app is facilitating community engagement.
“Residents love looking through the gallery of photos, news, events, and activities in the What’s On area. They have also embraced setting up groups for activities such as croquet and carpet bowls. They also like being able to message each other and the maintenance team through the app,” said Administration Officer Kim Edwards.
Hastings Point resident, Christine East, has grown to appreciate all the app’s features.
When I first heard about the app’s introduction, I admit I was a bit sceptical. However, having attended the information session and experimenting with the app, I am hooked! I like the features it offers our village community, such as staying up-to-date with activities via the calendar and not having to wait until the end of the month for the newsletter. Receiving messages and updates from Admin instantly is also great – no more checking the mailbox for messages! I also like being able to contact residents directly and being able to form groups.
Love the Bubble App and being able to easily see what is on or any news updates. Logging and tracking maintenance requests is now eay and much better than filling in the sheets where items tend to get lost and disappear.Sandra
An effervescent debut
With all of the positive reception from both residents and staff, TriCare is excited to complete the roll out of the app at all of their Retirement Communities. It has proven to be a rewarding and enjoyable addition to village life, connecting community members and making life easier.
Interested in joining a TriCare Retirement Community? Explore our villages here: https://www.tricare.com.au/retirement-living/