When visitation is restricted within a long-term care facility, communication from staff — or the lack thereof — has a significant effect on family perceptions. That’s according to a Miami University survey of nearly 200 family members with loved ones in LTC. 

Families who did not know if COVID-19 was present in their loved one’s facility had the poorest perceptions of the facility, even compared to respondents who have family members in facilities with COVID-19 cases. Survey respondents who had a more favorable opinion of a facility reported receiving more frequent communication and anecdotes about how their family members spent their time. Mass emails, daily robocalls providing facility updates and regular telephone calls were mentioned by families as effective communication strategies.

“The more specific details of the resident’s daily life the families are given, the more likely families are to perceive they are getting the right amount of information,” according to the survey. “Where families don’t know the status of COVID-19 in the facility, or don’t have confidence in facility communications, their perceptions of the facility are lower.”