Amy Jeffs

When there is so much going on day-to-day in skilled nursing facilities, it’s easy for operators to get swept up in their specific community’s needs and forget there’s a whole community outside of their facility’s doors. Right now, as COVID-19 continues to affect protocol and the lives of residents in senior care, it’s becoming essential to remain in tune with the larger community; it’s times like these where operators need to turn to other communities for support. Despite the changes in visitation and in-person social interaction, seniors should not have to suffer from social isolation and its negative effects. Instead, we should all come together to ensure senior residents stay informed, engaged, and connected.

With the dangers COVID-19 poses to seniors, it’s of the utmost importance that we are taking the necessary precautions to ensure their safety. However, this means residents must make significant changes to their daily life, and this can result in social isolation. Fortunately, there are numerous ways we can keep residents informed, entertained, and social, with digital tools, in hopes that preservation of physical health doesn’t come at the cost of mental health.

While skilled nursing facilties have begun to limit in-person interactions as much as possible, this doesn’t mean residents can’t have face-to-face communication with their friends and loved ones. With apps like Facetime, Google Duo and Skype, seniors can communicate with the people who aren’t able to come visit them via a video call. Some safety measures are keeping residents mostly in their rooms, whereas before they were going out, eating dinner with their friends, and socializing most days. Simply video-calling their family to eat dinner together can go a long way to replace some of this social interaction they’ve lost.

Another engaging way for residents to share quality time with one another is to stream a show or movie together. Netflix Party allows for multiple people to watch Netflix at the same time on their own devices by synchronizing video playback. We all like to binge our favorite shows or movies when there’s nothing to do, but it’s even more beneficial to do it together!

It’s also important to make sure your residents stay connected with their own skilled nursing facility. With a digital tool, residents can receive messages, important updates, resident and staff directories, send self-service inquiries, and stay informed all on the web. Status Solutions is offering our resident engagement platform, CATIE Web, free of charge to any senior living facility who needs it to assist with communication and engagement during the coronavirus crisis.

With CATIE Web, staff can share important information quickly and easily with their residents, residents can access directories to stay in touch with others in their facility, and residents can request dining or other services from the safety of their room. CATIE Web even has its own radio station, CATIE Radio, that curates music specifically for seniors. But, most importantly, CATIE Web can help give residents the peace of mind they need during these difficult times.

Although everyone’s’ lives are beginning to look different than normal right now, especially seniors’, it doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything about it. When faced with a crisis we can ban together, find new ways of doing things, and change for the better. Now is the time to try something new, be bold, and help one another out.

Amy Jeffs currently serves as vice president of Status Solutions, and has held various positions within the mission-based organization for the past 13 years. Her primary duties include assisting the Status Solutions’ founder and president with developing and implementing the company’s overall go-to-market strategy. Her past experience includes 20+ years of technology business and marketing at start-ups up to Fortune 500 companies.