In a matter of months, the novel coronavirus has completely changed the way that the entire world operates. But perhaps no industry has been impacted as severely as the senior care industry. Of course, this concerns an especially high-risk demographic. To lower the likelihood of spreading the virus, senior care facilities across the country have enacted new rules and regulations. Importantly, this has limited or halted in-person visits.
To not be able to physically check in on loved ones during this time can be incredibly distressing for both the residents and their families. To help keep morale high – and worried calls to your facility low – consider recommending the following remote engagement ideas.
Schedule video dates
Nothing can truly replace an in-person visit – but technology today can get pretty close. Your staff at the senior living facility should be able to help residents set up video calls. This could include things like eating meals together, doing storytime with the grandkids, or having a virtual book club. By setting up a reoccurring weekly or biweekly calls, you can help minimize the stress that we are all feeling and give residents and their families something to look forward to.
Make a delivery
Presents – especially when they are a surprise – can make everything a little bit better. Even though residents’ families are not able to visit in person, most facilities are still accepting packages. By sending something like a book (or audiobook) residents have something that they can discuss during the next virtual family call. Scheduling a bulk grocery delivery is another good way that loved ones can ensure that their resident is still getting everything that they need. There are also a number of companies that can put together custom care packages that are either sent once or on a regular basis.
Remind them of family
When so many of us are confined to our homes without much exposure to the outside world, it can start to feel really lonely. It is important that residents have little reminders about their loved ones that they can turn to as often as they need. Sending a recording of the grandkids singing, or a video of when the whole family was last together can go a long way. There are also a bunch of ways to get creative. For example, some companies will allow you to upload photos of your family and have them put on a custom puzzle, digital picture frame with rotating images, or something simple like a coffee mug that can be used every day.
This too shall pass…
Make sure that residents and their families know that they have options. The above ideas could be included in a company newsletter or email update. The important thing is that residents and their loved ones continue to have opportunities to check in with one another and offer support and love during this trying time.