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April 13, 2020

3 Ways Technology Can Help You Keep Residents Connected with Family

While your community typically thrives on the smiles and memories made from human connection, you’ve been compelled to take necessary steps to keep your residents and patients safe by sheltering-in-place and restricting visitors.

Though your communities understand you’re doing everything in your power to protect them, that doesn’t change their longing to capture those moments with family again.

With families looking to you for new ways to stay in touch, and your focus on keeping resident and patient sprits high, you have the opportunity to lead the way in helping them stay connected. And with the right technologies, it won’t be long until they feel the (virtual) love.

Share the smiles on social media

Social media is a great way to provide regular updates to family members, giving them the peace of mind in knowing how their loved one is doing. Consider posting pictures of your residents holding written messages, or even posing with a virtual hug. If you carried out a fun activity today, be sure post about it! Families are sure to enjoy watching for updates and seeing the smiles — just be sure to remind them to follow your page!

Bonus: If your community so happens to have an in-house TV channel; you can use it to spread the familial love right back to your residents. Simply ask outside family members to send paintings, drawings, photos and videos via email or over social media, and play them in your common areas for all to enjoy!

Create connections through mealtime

Food has the power to bring people together on so many levels, even when they can’t be together physically. With MealSuite’s Family Portal, you can allow your residents’ families to play a part in loved one’s mealtimes. With permissions set by you, the portal gives them a remote view of daily menus and can allow them to track what their loved one has ordered for improved choices. Not to mention, knowing what grandma or grandpa enjoyed for dinner makes for great conversation!

Make video chat attainable for all

Most individuals and collectives are leaning on video chat to stay connected, and you may be wondering how to deploy this unfamiliar technology in your community. These tips can help you get started:

  • If your residents don’t own or can’t manage a personal communication device, make a schedule and assign designated usage times for communal ones.
  • To help technologically inexperienced residents, appoint a ‘computer concierge’ among your staff to help them navigate the steps.
  • Activate Facebook Messenger, or download and set up Skype, Zoom or Face Time accounts for easy launching on devices.
  • If possible, consider communication tools specifically designed for seniors like GrandPad.

In these difficult times, the world at large is relying on technology to stay connected. Because at the end of the day, we need each other. We hope these tips help to keep your communities positive and connected – and empower you to put the ‘social’ back in social distancing.

If MealSuite can help your team navigate this or any of your COVID-19 challenges, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always happy to help.

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