Emily Johnson and Speak2
At Speak2, we value our relationship with senior living communities who use our software with Alexa devices to connect seniors with their families and improve communication throughout their communities. One extraordinary senior living leader and Speak2 Rockstar we would like to showcase is Emily Johnson.
Emily Johnson is an Executive Director at Cedarhurst Senior Living in Yorkville, Illinois, who introduced Speak2 to her community. In our interview with her, she shares her journey in senior living, how she helps seniors and her team, and why Speak2 is the right fit for her community. Check out the full interview below!
Get to Know Our Speak2 Rockstar Emily Johnson
How did you get involved with senior living? How long have you been with Cedarhurst of Yorkville?
I have been involved with senior living for 11 years. It started as voluntary work with adults with disabilities. But, after my stroke at age 18, I felt this deeper understanding of assisted living. I felt compassion for seniors who experience what I experience when your body fails and your life changes, and you just aren’t ready yet. It’s a big adjustment and comes with a lot of frustrations and a lack of independence. Once I recovered, I just knew I had to give back in some way – and I think this was exactly the way I was supposed to. I have been with Cedarhurst for over two years, the same length of time I have been in the United States.
What is your current role at Cedarhurst Senior Living? What is your favorite part about working in your current role?
My current role is Executive Director, although I worked my way up from working the floor. My favorite part about my role is the ability to mold, grow and shape our employees. Whether it be a young adult’s first position, or a more seasoned worker aiming for a promotion, my proudest moments are watching others succeed.
Why did you decide to use Speak2 at Cedarhurst Senior Living?
During the pandemic, our industry was up there with some of the worst industries hit. We need to think outside of the box and find ways to connect them with others during isolation. Not only did Speak2 allow us to do that, but it taught us ways to engage our residents’ minds and bodies through virtual avenues.
Tell us about how you view talking with seniors and how technology might help. How do you feel about seniors using technology, and is it something that you find important? If so, why?
I think it really comes down to you get out of something the amount you put in. Typically our seniors don’t react well to technology, but that is down to lack of knowledge and fear of the unknown. In an assisted living or nursing home, our residents already have a preconceived focus around why they live here, and that’s scary enough in itself. But through one-on-one training and guidance and showing them real-life results with their loved ones, they learn to love it too.
What is the most memorable experience you have witnessed or had while using Speak2 to help seniors connect with their families?
One of my most memorable moments was watching a resident with Parkinsons use Speak2 to connect with her family when her phone was no longer an option due to her inability to remain still enough to use it. That experience for that resident is one I will always remember and cherish.
Would you recommend Speak2 to others, and why? How do you feel about the experience?
Absolutely 100%. Speak2 is a newer startup and welcomes all ideas. They are able to personalize the experience to your community’s specific needs and adapt/adopt and integrate with your current systems to ensure you aren’t using multiple apps and resources. Speak2 has improved our community in more ways than just adding technology. They have changed lives.
Speak2 For Senior Living
Because of Emily Johnson and the teamwork at the Cedarhurst of Yorkville, seniors can connect with their friends, family, and community. Thank you to Emily for sharing her inspiring experience in senior living and using Speak2!
Want to learn more about Speak2 for senior living communities? Check out our video on how residents at Cedarhurst in Yorkville use Speak2 or contact us today!