Modernizing Physical Security Across Erickson Senior Living Communities Nationwide

Updated on February 7, 2023

Genetec recently had the pleasure of working with Erickson Senior Living on a project to improve security and the resident experience, which involved unifying video surveillance, access control and license plate recognition across 16 of its communities. 

Erickson Senior Living has been a trusted leader in senior living since 1983, today helping more than 28,000 residents live better lives in 21 communities across the U.S. Over the years, the various communities deployed a mix of video surveillance and access control systems from different providers, making it difficult for corporate teams to get a global view of operations and security, and hard for them to maintain. Also, as these proprietary, isolated systems aged, they were unable to support newer technologies that enhanced safety and simplified processes for residents. 

To modernize their approach, Erickson Senior Living developed a standardized model for security deployments across all communities, basing it on a unified platform that enables them to manage video, access control, license plate recognition across communities with a single user interface. Its open architecture also enables them to continue using existing cameras and other equipment as well as add innovations as they emerge. The 16 communities they have converted include 350 cameras, 600 door readers and more than 1,500 wireless locks with the remaining five planned for completion in 2023.

With the unified security platform, Genetec Security Center, teams across the communities can now easily monitor alarms and quickly pull up video recordings during investigations. They also retrieve access control reports showing all door activity, cardholder activity, and in some cases, activity is linked to a camera view, so they can immediately understand what happened. Standardizing on a single platform also makes it easier for corporate security team members to review incidents or investigate operational snags without leaving their offices.

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Enhancing the resident experience

Where the technology has been installed, residents can use their access control cards to purchase meals and pay for items in community shops. Security Center has also eliminated the need for gate fobs to enter or exit the property. Strategically placed automated license plate recognition (ALPR) cameras recognize resident vehicles and grant them entry or exit. Resident license plates are all stored within the system and linked to resident profiles, which simplifies activation and deactivation of rights. 

The new unified platform has also enabled the company to swap out physical keys on resident apartments for new wireless locks in newer communities. Now, residents use an access control card to enter their units, on-site amenities, and other secured areas. The new wireless locks also helped modernize a critical community service: resident welfare check-ins. Previously, a security officer would walk through buildings every morning, visually verifying that residents had opened their door allowing a latch to drop to indicate they were up, and knocking on doors of those who hadn’t to make sure all was well. Now, Security Center automatically sends a report daily to security teams showing which units’ doors haven’t been opened yet. They’ll then compare that to a list of unoccupied units to see which residents require a welfare check. Instead of walking every hallway, they can go directly to units that require further checking.

Looking ahead, the company’s security roadmap includes everything from adding map and mobile capabilities to exploring hybrid cloud options for added storage and redundancy. They’re also currently integrating an intelligent key system within Security Center and adding people counting analytics and perimeter detection at newer gateless communities. 

Modernizing their physical security systems enables Erickson Senior Living to better protect residents, visitors and communities, and deliver a streamlined resident experience as threats and technologies evolve.

John Joyce

John Joyce is the Director of Sales, Enterprise Markets, at Genetec. He manages sales activities and personnel for Enterprise Private Markets in the U.S. East Coast region. Prior to joining Genetec in 2008 John gained more than 28 years of security industry experience with manufacturers of video, access control, and intelligence solutions.