Senior living communities across the country are taking every precaution with coronavirus (COVID-19) and putting plans in place to keep their residents healthy. While much about the spread of the disease is still unknown, indications point to the fact that older people, and those with preexisting medical conditions, appear to be more vulnerable. Knowing this, many senior living communities are restricting access of nonessential visitors, delivering meals to residents’ apartments rather than serving meals in the dining room, and asking high-risk staff members to stay at home.
While there are many uncertainties around COVID-19, we would like to assure you that LifeLoop is here to assist our customers and provide the tools needed to keep your community well informed. A streamlined, timely communication plan can keep staff on the same page, reassure residents that procedures are in place, and give family some peace of mind during this stressful time. Here are 5 best practices to keep all parties informed by using LifeLoop.
1. Develop a Communication Protocol
Communication is undoubtedly one of the most important things to keep in mind right now with COVID-19. It is essential to find out what to communicate, who to communicate with, and how to keep the communication channels open.
One easy way to do this is with the “Announcements” feature in LifeLoop. From this feature, you can send a message to all staff members, all residents and all family members at once, which they can receive via text, email or in-app message. Each audience can get a customized message or receive the same one. It is important to describe what actions the facility is taking to protect residents, including answering their questions and explaining what they can do to protect themselves and their fellow residents. With this communication method you will also be able to easily track any responses you receive in one place.
2. Customize your Weekly Email
Customizing your weekly email to family members is a great way to keep them up-to-date. The weekly email is our most popular family feature and your community can customize the opening paragraph as you see fit. Informing all audiences of preparedness measures, cleaning protocol, visitor protocol and more is quick and efficient with this feature. To do this, go to your Facility Settings, select your community and select “Weekly Summary.”
3. Utilize the Family App
The LifeLoop family app is going to be a key component especially if your community is limiting visitors. During this time of uncertainty, people want to make sure their family members are okay and well cared for. Via the LifeLoop family app, family members can see what their loved one is participating in, see photos at activities, view personal activities and receive/send messages to staff members. This is meant to provide peace-of-mind, especially if they are unable to or restricted from visiting their loved ones in person.
4. Create Digital Signage Specific to Community Preparedness
There are several great ways to utilize digital signage to keep all audiences residing in or visiting your community informed. Want to post reminders about best practices for handwashing and stopping the spread of germs? This is a great avenue to do so. Considering cancelling some activities in your community to limit possible exposure? Post it on your displays. Want to ask any visitors to disclose any recent travel or symptoms at the front desk? Digital signage has you covered.
These slides are completely customizable and can be changed based on the location of the TV in your facility. They can also be updated at a moment’s notice and broadcast throughout your community for residents, staff and visitors.
5. Customized Notification Reminders
Identify one or two contacts at your community that oversee communications to staff, residents and families regarding COVID-19. These individuals will also address questions or concerns that anyone may have. Make sure they have the appropriate permissions to message all parties within LifeLoop.
Moreover, make sure no one misses a message by reminding staff, residents and families that they can customize their notifications in LifeLoop. Every user can customize their notifications ensuring that the messages you are sending get received in their preferred method of communication.
All in all, Communication is key! Openly communicate with your residents, staff and family members on a frequent basis. The more you communicate, even just to say hello, will foster and promote a trusted relationship and help avoid escalating concerns. And don’t forget, the LifeLoop team is always here to help. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to walk through any of these best practices in more detail.