On an ongoing basis, Springmoor staff proactively support our residents’ tech use in multiple ways. Key technological aspects of life at our community include our online resident portal, our in-house TV channel, and our Resident Business Center.
Of course, most residents also independently use numerous apps, programs, and devices to enrich their lives. Some indulge in favorite hobbies, such as engaging in continuing education, reading ebooks, watching craft tutorials, and completing puzzles or workouts virtually. Other residents rave about the convenience of using Zoom to connect with far-flung family and friends.
Online Portal Enhances Lives, Facilitates Communication within the Community
Springmoor was pleased to introduce a new online portal system, the Touchtown Pathways Portal, at the beginning of 2022. “Technology can be intimidating at first, but the new portal helps ease all types of users into its interface and provides information right at your fingertips,” says Daniel Sekeras, our Director of Information Technology.
When the new portal first launched, Daniel held a large training session for residents. The auditorium was packed with residents eager to hear his hour-long presentation about the new system. He continues to conduct portal trainings monthly for new residents and anyone who needs a refresher.
“Before deciding on our new resident portal, we went through a rigorous identification process,” adds Beth Holden, Director of Sales & Marketing. Beth has been a member of our staff since 1996, and one of the most significant changes at the community she has observed is an explosion in the use of technology. Most current residents regularly use their own computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Residents were extremely involved in choosing a provider for the new portal. Daniel and Leah Willis, Director of Resident Life, conducted extensive research on portal options. During the fall of 2021, Daniel solicited feedback from residents and staff. “We provided demonstrations and a sandbox environment to use for a week,” he says.
Each department, from dining to housekeeping, posts their own content to the portal. Touchtown makes it extremely easy for staff to import data, and this was a major factor in this provider emerging as the winner. Another significant benefit of Touchtown is that the icons for the many categories of information—such as “Events” and “Calendars”—are large and easy to access, even on the small screen of a smartphone.
“Technology continues to be a hot topic for our residents,” says Brandon Hair, Executive Director. “Our new and improved resident portal allows them to stay up-to-date regarding the latest community announcements and happenings.”
Brandon continues, “The portal also facilitates interacting with other residents. Members of the community can even sign up for activities on the portal, thereby ensuring they have a spot reserved for trips and other functions planned by our Resident Life Department.”
Residents can access the online portal from any web browser on a computer or other device. As a central feature of technology use at Springmoor, the portal is a valued amenity that connects residents to numerous resources.
Additional information available to residents on the portal includes:
- Messages from staff.
- Dining menus and information.
- A staff directory.
- A resident directory.
- Welcoming words and brief information on new residents.
- An In Memoriam section.
- Updates from the committees of the Residents Association.
The portal houses photo galleries, as well as videos of events and activities such as Vespers, resident association meetings, town hall meetings, and more. Residents can use the portal to make requests of our maintenance, transportation, and housekeeping departments. The portal allows staff to send messages to residents in real-time.
To access the Touchtown portal, residents first visited the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to download the Touchtown Community App to their Apple or Android devices. If a resident needs assistance signing up for the portal or has questions about their account or login, they simply contact Daniel.
When the new portal system first launched, Daniel provided multiple information sessions to explain its many benefits. He and our 11 Resident Technology Ambassadors helped residents get logged in to the new portal and have assisted with app set up and other aspects of the portal.
Daniel provides each new resident with a briefing on the use of the portal, as well as a packet of helpful information that includes contact information for the Technology Ambassadors, how to reach the members of the Technology & Media Committee of the Residents Association, and flyers from independent contractors who can provide more extensive support.
“Residents enjoy the convenience of being able to register for events and activities on the portal,” says Daniel. “They can even check the attendee list or cancel their registration online if needed.”
Portal Helps Residents Get to Know New Neighbors
Each resident has the option of completing a personal profile on the portal. This information is private to our portal only and is not shared on the web. A login to the Springmoor community portal is required to view the personal profiles, which allow neighbors to learn more about each other. Residents can then reach out to those with whom they have a lot in common.
Types of information residents can choose to include in their portal profile are their contact information, biographical information, technology preferences, and the types of hobbies and activities they enjoy. Residents can include anything they’d like to share with others. Keywords like “bridge” or “Methodist” are searchable, so that residents can easily find others who share their interests.
Residents can easily upload their profile photos from their phone or computer by clicking on the camera icon next to where the photo will be inserted into their online profile. They then browse to the photo they’d like to use.
Springmoor Is Proud to Host our own In-House TV Stations
Our long-standing in-house TV channels, 1340 and 1341, are now part of our Touchtown portal system. Some residents feel more comfortable using the TV instead of the portal, and announcements about events and much more are placed on these closed-circuit channels as well. We recently improved the quality of TV station 1341 to HD (high definition), as well as enhancing the quality of the sound for all feeds.
As of July 2022, the North Carolina Reading Service (NCRS) broadcasts to residents on our Channel 1340. NCRS is a nonprofit that has been connecting people who are blind or print-impaired to news, information, and entertainment using the latest audio technology since 1983. Residents can access the programming schedule for NCRS on our Touchtown Portal or find a printed copy in each post office area.
NCRS volunteers read local news, editorials, community news, and grocery and department store ads aloud from more than 80 periodicals and national magazines, and this information is then broadcast. This nonprofit also provides special programs on education, exercise, health issues, money matters, technology, legal matters, and vision news.
NCRS’ coverage includes information from local newspapers like The News & Observer and Triangle Business Journal, as well as national publications such as The Wallstreet Journal, Good Housekeeping, and The New Yorker. NCRS also airs a weekly broadcast of Que Pasa, the Hispanic newspaper, entirely in Spanish.
Residents Can Take Advantage of Our On-Campus Business Center
One of the many amenities Springmoor provides is the Resident Business Center. The Springmoor Resident Computer Group, formally established in 2004 as the Springmoor Computer Club, originally set up our very first computer room.
Alf Lindholm was the President of the Computer Club at the time, and he worked with Senior Net (the IBM retirees group) to conduct instructional courses on computer use at Springmoor. Six new computers with monitors, keyboards, and mice were donated to the Computer Club to create a well-outfitted computer lab for residents.
As technology has evolved, the Springmoor IT Department and the Computer Club have upgraded and maintained the computer equipment located in the Resident Business Center. The focus of the club, now officially called the Technology and Media Committee, has also evolved to encompass more devices and systems.
The Computer Club room was relocated in late 2019 from 173A to the back half of the original bank area in the Administration center in North Village. The Resident Business Center currently features three all-in-one computers and a multi-function color printer that are available for all residents and guests to use.
In simple terms, an all-in-one computer combines all desktop computer components in one enclosed unit, rather than having a display monitor that is separate from a computer tower. Springmoor supplies toner for the printer; all residents need to do is bring their own paper and limit the number of pages they print to 30 or fewer.
Daniel reminds residents to log out of all personal accounts before leaving their station: “By logging out of all your accounts when using any public computer, you help ensure no one gains access to your information.”
Residents save their work on a removable thumb drive. “All locally saved work is automatically purged from the computers several times a month,” says Daniel. The computers are always on and available to residents, and they do not need to be shut down after use. If residents have any issues or questions while in the Resident Business Center, they can call Daniel for assistance.
Come See for Yourself All Springmoor Has to Offer!
Like many CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities), Springmoor is an entrance fee community. Paying this one-time fee gives you access to all of our services, facilities, and amenities like our portal, in-house TV stations, and business center, as well as a full continuum of healthcare (and much more!). We offer guaranteed residency for life. Your monthly service package gives you maintenance-free living and predictability in your ongoing expenses.
Contact us today at 919-848-7080 to find out more about the wide range of exceptional activities we offer every day so that residents can live their best lives. Our friendly team is happy to answer questions about Springmoor’s amenities and what’s included in your monthly service package. You can also order a free information packet. We look forward to meeting you soon!