Safeguarding Seniors

By on Mar 27, 2020 in News

As the novel coronavirus spreads, senior living providers are taking every precaution to keep their residents healthy and safe. That includes visitor restrictions and entrance screenings.

While effective, these safeguards are also creating anxiety for residents and their loved ones, who now find it harder to see each other. What’s happening in the community? How do they keep in contact?

During these uncertain times, communicating openly and regularly goes a long way towards reducing fear and building trust. Many senior living providers already have strong infection protocols in place for seasonal flus, so they know how to effectively minimize illness risk. The key is making everyone aware so that residents, families and staff can rest easier.

So although the national guidance recommends social distancing, the need to stay connected is stronger than ever. To that end, we’re here to help our senior living clients ensure the wellbeing of their communities.

Here are a few simple ways that you can use Yardi tools already available to you to empower communication and prevent business disruption:

Overcommunicate on all channels

RENTCafé Senior Living can help families stay connected. Residents and loved ones can opt in to receive SMS alerts from the community, and they can also send confidential messages and questions through the online portal to staff about their concerns.

On the administrative side, RENTCafé Senior CRM allows you to send emails and track all correspondence from one place. Staff can also set announcements to display on the online portal right after someone signs in. These are simple, effective ways to share updates and useful links about the coronavirus situation.

Access and upload health information

Within the RENTCafé Senior Living online portal, family members can view the latest records about their residents, including vital signs, diagnoses and medication orders. This data is shared from Yardi EHR in real time, so as caregivers and nurses make their rounds, families can keep tabs on any health changes without having to make extra calls to the community.

If a resident must visit a hospital for any reason, the family members can also upload test results and documentation to RENTCafé Senior Living. That way, care staff are kept in the loop so they know exactly how to help when the resident returns.

Take routine interactions online

Family members who would normally drop off a check in person when visiting should be encouraged to pay their bills online instead. They can see the current balance, view the statement history and schedule one-time or recurring payments (through ACH, credit cards or debit cards) within the RENTCafé Senior Living online portal.

The same advice extends to asking maintenance for assistance. RENTCafé Senior Living allows residents and family members to submit requests online, and maintenance personnel will be able to see the tasks instantly on their smartphone. On that note, residents and their family members can also pay their bills and request maintenance on mobile devices through the RENTCafé Senior Living Resident app for Android and iOS.

Ensure staff are prepared on every protocol

Many providers have revisited their infection protocols ahead of a possible outbreak of COVID-19 in their communities, and it’s critical that all staff are aware of the right steps to take. Yardi eLearning can help your organization quickly distribute the latest training without the potential health risks of a large in-person meeting.

The online platform offers live classroom sessions and webinars in addition to on-demand courses. You can quickly customize content around your protocols as well as guidance from the CDC, then track participation and follow up with knowledge checks to ensure that staff are prepared.

Help potential residents tour virtually

Move-ins over the next few months will likely slow, but they won’t stop entirely. The decision to join a senior living community is often preceded by a health change or care need, and these potential residents will still want to know what a community is like before they sign a lease.

But given the restrictions on visitors, senior living providers are now taking an online approach to their community tours. Lots of senior living websites feature photo galleries, which are simple and effective. But websites built on our RENTCafé platform allow providers to take this one step further with virtual 360-degree tours. Prospective residents see an interactive panorama of the community that they can click and navigate through. You can also call attention to specific items and amenities that might catch their interest.

For more ways on how the Yardi Senior Living Suite — and our team — can help your communities pull through this situation stronger than ever, please contact us or visit our resources page for COVID-19.