5 Ways Senior Living Technology Can Help Keep Residents Safe through the Rise of Delta and the Next COVID-19 Variants
Since the initial spread of COVID-19, senior living communities have adapted their operations to keep residents safe. However, in 11 states, 20 percent of adults 65 years and older have not been vaccinated, putting them more at risk for being infected by new coronavirus strains.
In these conditions, senior living communities must find new ways to keep resident health a top priority and decrease the spread of the virus. Community engagement strategies, bolstered by senior living technology, can boost resident morale while keeping residents safe. Here are five pieces of tactical advice to help you do just that.
1. Senior Living Technology Streamlines Communication Between Residents, Doctors, and Their Families
Having a loved one in a senior living community can be hard on a family. COVID-19 has put an additional strain on communication with loved ones because of in-person visitation restrictions that are still in place in many areas.
Recent legislation passed in Illinois requires senior living communities to facilitate calls between residents and their families every day, in hopes to decrease the risks of loneliness and isolation in older adults. The right senior living technology can make requirements like this easier for the care staff to meet and in any state, access to a family engagement platform allows for easier communication between residents and their families.
In addition, Caremerge’s HIPAA compliant EHR Tool helps caregivers more efficiently track health plans and provide better quality care without in-person appointments. This technology gives caregivers access to assessment and prescription calendars, incident reports, and care task tracking, all in one place.
2. Online Activity Calendars Simplify Contact Tracing and Social Distancing
Contact tracing is critical to decreasing the spread of COVID-19 in light of new variants of the virus. For example, the Delta variant is twice as contagious as the original strand of this coronavirus.
In case of a breakthrough in the community, activity calendars can help senior living operators contact trace by understanding who was present at the time of exposure. Catching exposure early can help decrease the risk of widespread infection.
Additionally, activity calendars ensure in-person events are not overcrowded and residents are appropriately distanced in common areas.
3. Virtual Events Promote Social Distancing and Build Community
In the same vein, online events are another beneficial community engagement strategy. Virtual gatherings through residential TV monitors connect residents with their neighbors and friends in the community. Caremerge’s In-Room TV solution builds community engagement by enabling senior living communities the ability to host their own activities and events, like BINGO or chair yoga.
Virtual events are an important aspect in allowing residents to explore and connect beyond the walls of their living community. Taking a virtual tour of a museum, joining an online book club, or having a virtual game night are great community engagement strategies.
4. Voice Control Technology Provides Hands-Free Communication
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many senior living communities have dealt with high employee turnover. In 2021, more than 81 percent of senior living communities faced staff shortages. In some instances, nursing assistants were left to pick up responsibilities typically performed by full-time nurses.
Empowering residents to support themselves in completing daily tasks, helps ease senior care staff responsibilities. For example, with Caremerge’s partner, Amazon Alexa, residents can check community news, the activity calendar, and COVID-19 safety updates.
Voice technology also enables residents to submit maintenance requests and set medication reminders. By using voice technology, older adults can keep track of their daily activities, while also lifting the weight of responsibilities for care staff.
5. Electronic Hubs Deliver Clear Communication about COVID-19 Protocols
As coronavirus variants emerge and spread, regulations regarding social distancing and masking will continue to change. Through Caremerge’s electronic hubs, senior living communities can easily communicate with residents and their families.
The Family Engagement app allows senior living communities to update families with photos, messages, and community news. The Integrated Crisis Communication Platform is another way of keeping families informed of the latest changes going on in the community, including visitation rules and exposure alerts.
In addition, community signage helps communicate updates regarding social distancing and mask mandates. In times of such uncertainty, clear communication is vital in ensuring family members their loved one is taken care of.
Senior Living Technology Helps Create a Safer Environment for Residents
Senior living communities have taken the brunt of the pandemic in regards to keeping older adults safe, supporting their employees’ health, and maintaining a nurturing living environment. Senior living technology enables clear communication regarding resident health and COVID-19 regulations.
Senior living technology is a critical tool for implementing community engagement strategies that foster strong relationships between residents, care staff, and families. To learn more about how to implement senior living technology, reach out or