Towards the New Normal in Senior Living: How to Organize Staggered Family Visits
The peak has passed, the country is opening up, but what does the exit plan in Senior Living look like?
The industry has been hit hard by the pandemic; not only the financials and the occupancy rates have been declining, but also on the human side it is tough due to the shelter in place. After more than 8 weeks residents and family members cannot wait to meet again in person.
The fact remains that seniors are the most vulnerable part of the population for this virus. The teams in the communities have worked day and night to protect the residents as best as they can, and now the gates are going to open again. How can this be done in a controlled and safe way? Nobody wants to throw away what they have fought for the last 2 months.
How can visits be organized, taking into account the distancing measures? How is it possible to avoid a flood of visitors standing at the doors from the moment visits are allowed? How can any of this be orchestrated with the limited capacity of staff to manage this? How can every visitor be registered in a simple way for tracking and reporting afterwards?
The COVID-19 virus made this a global challenge, regardless of national identity. But what can be learned from other countries eg. in Europe, where the easing of lockdown measures has already started? How are Senior Living organizations in Europe managing staggered family visits?
Social Opening in European Senior Living
Governments have put measures in place that provide the framework for the first phase of the exit: 1 visitor per resident per week, maximum half an hour, always the same person, wearing protective gear, only in the common areas, and the continued respect for distancing.
On top of that, Senior Living residences have implemented an end-to-end process to allow visitors to enter the community in a safe, structured way; and most importantly: without any extra administrative burden on local staff.
Since the community’s team is already extremely busy taking care of the residents and keeping the virus out, there is no room left for planning and structuring the visits. Technology can help out here. Taking into account several parameters like capacity, duration, etc., a set of available time slots are offered to the visitor who can book their slot online or through an app.
It’s an efficient and safe 3-step process to organise staggered family visits:
At the same time the tool helps the staff to manage the visits:
Staff can easily define visit slots, duration of the slots, maximum number of visits per slot, maximum number of visitors per resident and / or per visitor, etc. They always have a real-time overview of the ongoing and upcoming visits, and an easy to search full history of visits and visitors is available for tracing.
About Cubigo - Operating on a local level, supported by a global mindset
Cubigo is one of the only software platforms in Senior Living that is operating on a global level. While this is a challenge, it also brings great benefits. Since all our customers operate on the same platform it creates a huge leverage for innovation: new modules or ideas from one organisation are instantly available for others. The more clients using the platform, the faster it enhances. Don’t reinvent the wheel, but work with partners that can support you in your transformation as a company, learning from what each other are doing.
The approach described in this article is implemented in more than 250 Senior Living residences in Europe. It’s not only a great way of organizing staggered family visits, it’s also a tremendous opportunity to connect family members online with communities. In the same application where they book their visit, they can stay up to date with community news or information about their relatives.