Convenience at Your Fingertips: Pennswood’s Touchtown Community App
You’ve heard the saying, “There’s an app for that.” In this digital age, users of Apple and Android smartphones can collectively download more than 4 million apps to their devices. In early February, Pennswood Village introduced its own app to help residents stay fully engaged with the community’s services and programs.
Designed as a personal concierge, the Touchtown Community App functions as a one-stop resource for everything Pennswood, including:
- Activities – search for specific events, classes and dates
- Dining menus – search for your favorite entrees
- Announcements – stay informed of shuttle service schedule changes or progress of special events and initiatives, such as the Cyber Cycle challenge
- Resident directory – access your neighbors’ phone numbers and emails with one tap
- Staff directory – know who to contact for services, amenities, support and more
- Photos – enjoy pictures from recent events and activities
- Custom forms – access the “away and return” form or the dining services survey
- Maintenance – request help for your home, landscaping, housekeeping and computer needs
- Transportation – request a ride from your electronic device
- Salon – view hours, services and pricing
- The Bulletin and Village Voices – scan the community’s “must-know” publications online
- And much more!
According to David Monaghan, assistant network administrator at Pennswood, the Touchtown Community App is easy to use and doesn’t require prior computer experience. So that virtually anyone on campus with a smartphone, tablet or computer can access the app, it’s available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and residents can access the app via popular web browsers, too.
To help residents log in to Pennswood’s custom version of the app and become familiar with it, David, the Pennswood staff members and “resident ambassadors” involved in the app’s development were available on “go-live” day. These helpful individuals continue to help residents with installing and using the app as needed. Based on initial feedback from the team, the app has become quite popular.
“The launch of our Touchtown Community App was a huge success,” David shared. “On the first day, we had 124 residents either download the app or log in to the Touchtown Community App website.” By the end of March 2019, the number of Pennswood residents using the app increased to 184.
Accessibility equals knowledge
Before the Touchtown Community App, residents relied on digital boards and printed materials to learn about activities, menus and services. “In one month, we can have more than 80 activities available to residents and the digital boards can’t display it all,” David explained. In addition, directories become outdated as new residents arrive on campus or committee chairs change.
“On the Touchtown Community App we can see biographies and photos of our residents and staff, view schedules of our daily activities and receive announcements,” said Marcia Ames, resident ambassador for the app project. “I love having the ability to get phone numbers and other information while I’m out of my apartment,” added Marcia. “And for new residents, it’s great to search for people who have hobbies similar to yours.”
Marcia especially likes that the Touchtown Community App integrates the activities, dining and announcement modules with Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant.
Along with embracing the conveniences of going digital by utilizing the Touchtown Community App, David and the Pennswood Village staff are committed to supporting a wide range of preferences that include digital signage and printed materials when those means of communication are appropriate.
Pennswood Village is excited about adding the Touchtown Community App, but if you’re on the fence about using it, consider this: roughly two-thirds of those ages 65 and older go online, and smartphone adoption has nearly quadrupled in the past five years.
If you’d like to learn more about the Touchtown Community App and the other ways that Pennswood Village uses technology to connect everyone within our community, we invite you to see it all firsthand on a personalized visit. To schedule your visit, simply call 215-504-1118 or click here!