With the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis felt around the globe, government authorities in many countries are setting up visitor and service restrictions as well as official decrees for retirement homes, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Residents and families alike are facing unprecedented challenges due to in-person contact limitations—whether it is to communicate with one another, follow-up with healthcare professionals, or arrange for services to safety for all.
The time has never been more important to find new ways to help seniors and patients in long-term healthcare facilities. This is when text messaging can be an invaluable tool to help keep people safe and the lines of communications open.
Retirement homes, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes are increasingly implementing text messaging platforms within their operations and to communicate with the residents’ families during the pandemic. The benefits of text messaging in this context are undeniable.
Text messaging limits in-person contact, which is critical for self-isolation and social distancing and as cases of community spread continue to rise.
This article explains the many ways text messaging can be used for senior citizens and people in long-term care facilities. Let’s take a look at the myriad of ways text messaging is currently being leveraged.
In many areas around the world, visits to retirement homes, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes are currently prohibited in order to protect people who are over the age of 70, suffering from chronic illnesses or have weakened immune systems. This takes a toll on both residents and family members.
In order to assuage families’ worries and provide comfort to residents, homes and facilities can offer text messaging services. Using in-house tablets, for example, nurses, beneficiary attendants, healthcare assistants and volunteers can send messages, pictures or recorded videos of residents and patients to family members to let them know they are fine and to catch up on things. In turn, family members can check on loved ones remotely to ensure they are receiving all the care that they need.
Furthermore, administrators can let families know of critical changes in hygiene or visitation directives as well as individual treatments. This goes a long way to keeping family members informed and managing expectations.
During a chaotic time when the situation regarding the COVID-19 virus changes on a daily basis, healthcare staff and administrators need to quickly communicate updates and coordinate operations, all while remaining focused on looking after residents and patients.
Text messaging can be a great option to enable colleagues to efficiently and instantly communicate with each other regarding emergencies, specific patient protocols or updates on residents’ and patients’ health situations. Co-workers can also leave notes in text message conversations about the status of a resident or patient to simplify notifications to families.
For example, a family member could contact the front desk to find out if a loved one has eaten her three meals on any given day. The front desk clerk could add a comment in a text message thread so that a colleague who takes care of the patient can provide details on the patient’s appetite. The care worker can add a note in the conversation for the front desk clerk, explaining that the patient was able to partially eat her three meals. The front desk clerk then sends a text message to the inquiring family member with the update.
Administrators can also communicate to a group of employees and swiftly notify staff of any critical changes in procedures and protocols as decreed by government authorities.
People can use text messaging to efficiently manage healthcare appointments for a family member. Depending on the essential services offered, family members may have to book or change appointments regarding scheduled services, such as tests and treatments. For example, a family member may have to book a parent’s appointment with a dentist or ergotherapist.
In addition, residences and homes could offer families, via text message, time slots to book video calls with their loved ones to keep in touch and overcome social isolation.
Text messaging platforms can provide retirement homes and assisted-living facilities the means to request payments from families for rent or services via text.
Similarly, family members can pay directly on their smartphones with a credit or debit cards, or through a banking app.
This feature can simplify both accounts receivable processes as well as simplify the lives of families who oversee their loved ones’ finances.
For retirement homes, text messaging is an invaluable tool to notify residents’ families of updated protocols and important information regarding the pandemic, especially with respect to sanitation and hygiene measures, and if visits are allowed.
Nursing homes, long-term care facilities and healthcare services can also implement text messaging to send appointment reminders to and request permission from authorized family members for specific care or adapted meals for their loved ones. Documents can also be sent by text message to families to complete to speed up admissions or other related forms, as required.
Kimoby’s text messaging platform for retirement homes and assisted-living facilities is the ideal communication solution for residents, patients, healthcare professionals and family members. The COVID-19 virus has unfortunately created a new normal, for the meantime, that requires different approaches to ensuring that communications with our loved ones are maintained.
Kimoby allows users to:
During these difficult times, seniors and the elderly, along with their families, can also tap into the power of text messaging technology to stay connected. Request a demo today!
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