SUGGEST THIS BEST PRACTICE TO YOUR LONG TERM-CARE FACILITY AS A WAY TO KEEP CONNECTED WITH YOUR LOVED ONES
Even today, many family members and friends of residents in long-term care residences feel like they are not receiving updated information about their facility’s policies, procedures, successes, and obstacles during the Pandemic. Here’s an example of an outstanding method of keep families updated during the Pandemic, published on LeadingAge.org. You may wish to suggest this to the administration of your loved one’s long-term care residence. The idea of continuing this program after the pandemic is especially appealing.
"RiverSpring Health, based in Riverdale, NY, holds Family Information Webinars every Thursday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., as a forum for families to get up-to-date information and to ask questions about how the organization is handling the coronavirus crisis.
The team of panelists includes the medical director, the vice-president of nursing, the COO, the director of social services, and the assistant director of therapeutic activities and enrichment programs. Participants join via GoToMeeting.
The Webinars began on March 5, and attendance grew from 30 to 60 in the first 2 weeks. Attendance for the March 26 webinar was expected to reach 100, says COO David Pomeranz.
'We promote it all week to family members,' says Pomeranz. 'It’s a committed time to address questions. Questions come through GoToMeeting, or [families] can text them to me, email them, or call in.'
The webinars were expected to be about 30 minutes long, but Pomeranz says they continue until all the questions are answered.
RiverSpring Health has also found a way to reassign employees to make resident-family communications easier. With social distancing in place, and the suspension of group functions, RiverSpring’s team of 8 full-time transporters was idled.
'We made them our Facetime team,' says Melissa Estevez, director of customer service. 'Families can go to the website, request a chat, and we schedule video chats using Facetime or Google Duo, with the transporters making the connections.'
Estevez says her team is averaging 50 calls a day, though larger quantities are common.
Each transporter is given an iPad on a rolling stand. The workers take all of the usual masking and hand-washing precautions. The transporters work with the long-term care residents, subacute rehab patients, and an assisted living group. Independent living residents have a similar program provided by another team.
Estevez says RiverSpring would like to continue the program after the coronavirus crisis is over."