“Dear Residents & Families…”
- How Senior Living Communities Alert for Safety
April 6, 2020
COVID-19 and its subsequent warnings have taken on a normalcy for many, but especially for those who reside within senior living communities. Visitors have been rightfully disallowed from these institutions and signs have been posted to inform and halt visitors from crossing the threshold. This is indeed the new normal of how senior care facilities operate to ensure the health and vitality of residents.
During my week, I access hundreds of websites for independent and assisted living communities. Interestingly, you can no longer cross a digital threshold without experiencing in some fashion a clickable banner alerting the webpage visitor that non-essential individuals cannot enter the facility. There is also a growing trend on senior care facility websites to initiate a pop-up window on the homepage when you first access the site. This is in direct correlation to how these communities are being subject to adverse events as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The alert needs to be bold and cooperation is parament.
In a matter of two quick weeks, many communities have transitioned from an opt-in style of communication – where you are requested to click a link to see a COVID-19 response, to a more appropriate opt-out action – where you are required to ‘x’ off the warning pop-up to be able to see the website. Yes, this got my attention.
One example of this trend can be found on the website of SilverCrest in Minnesota. Their warning does include the standard recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Beyond the medical community’s recommended actions to prevent an outbreak, SilverCrest includes other necessary and creative means to enhance physical distancing, yet maintain connected social distancing to help with residents’ mental and emotional well-being. The following are examples from the pop-up on their homepage:
• We are actively working to prevent loneliness and social isolation and are developing creative solutions to ensure our residents remain connected and safe.
• Please reach out to the staff if you would like us to coordinate a FaceTime or Skype opportunity with your loved ones. We will do our best to accommodate all requests in a timely fashion
In a normal – non-pandemic – world, the above may fall to the obligation of the resident themselves or their loved ones; extra-curricular activity for already busy care providers. Staff have accepted the burden of extra care recommended by the CDC. However, our social connections never lose importance, even when physical distancing is necessary. It is prudent for communities like SilverCrest to go beyond direct physical care of its residents. We all long for the day when we can embrace our loved ones again, whether in a senior living community or at a family gathering. Until then, practice connected social distancing.
WalkWise, with its smart walker attachment, is proud to be one of these necessary and creative solutions that help our seniors “remain connected and safe”, like SilverCrest calls out on their homepage. Our technology allows for peace of mind to know your loved one is staying active (and safe). Like many other companies, we are here to help.
“Walking is man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates
By Aaron Lamb, Director of Business Development