A good senior care facility is all about communication. Of course, there should be ongoing communication with loved ones that provide regular updates on current programs as well as the resident’s physical and emotional health.
However, there may also be extreme circumstances – such as a natural disaster – that will require thoughtful communication, fast. This problem with a situation like this is that there are so many people to communicate with at once. Every family member will likely be calling for updates and answers, which could make it even more difficult for staff to appropriately deal with the situation at hand.
You never know when disaster could strike, which means that your facility needs to make sure that there is a standard procedure in place. Take a look at the recommendations below, in order to best communicate critical and time-sensitive information to your residents’ loved ones.
You should never wait until you are in the midst of a disaster to let family members know what to expect. Your plan of action for disaster communication should be explained to individuals when they are first considering your facility – both verbally and written. This will also act as an effective sales point, showing that your team is proactive and prepared.
This predetermined course of action – including both methods and frequency of communication – should also live on your website. Remember that, if your facility is in the midst of a disaster, one of the first places loved ones will go to is your website. It would be beneficial to include a banner in your site template, which can be quickly updated as needed. The design should clearly stand out so it cannot be missed.
One of the benefits of social media is that it has been designed for real-time updates. People are going to want as much information as possible. By updating your Facebook page or Twitter account, you help ensure that they will get phone notifications. It would also help to include language like, “this is all of the information that we have at the moment” or “we will post another update at X time.”
You should make sure that every resident’s emergency contact is included in a group message so that everyone can be updated – in a private setting – at once. This helps ensure that everyone is getting the exact same information and can help cut down on the amount of time that staff members might otherwise be spending taking calls and answering questions.
Always Be Prepared
The most important thing that you can do is make sure that you have a plan in place way before a disaster happens. This needs to be communicated to every staff member and regularly discussed throughout the year. By taking these steps you can keep your residents safe and give their loved ones some peace of mind.