Using technology to connect seniors during times of isolation

Our chief concern in assisted living is to keep residents safe, healthy and comfortable, while also avoiding feelings of isolation. However, as we are faced with the reality of COVID-19, long-term care providers are restricting visitors due to the risk and spread of the infection. One clear solution is to offer residents and families the opportunity to use video and voice messaging. Some senior assisted living homes are going beyond the no-brainer solutions for staying connected by investing in person-centered engagement technology. This unique tool provides mean- ingful experiences and content connecting residents to the world around them.

Here are some examples of person-centered engagement technology solutions.

  • Skype, FaceTime, What’s App – these are no- brainers for staying connected virtually.
  • Share pictures, emails and video clips from family members.
  • Take virtual tours of museums.
  • Participate in virtual worship services.
  • Create art, do crossword puzzles and play trivia with grandkids during Skype or video chat sessions.
  • Bring in entertainment virtually when entertainers can’t be there in person – sing-a-longs, movies, or fun videos.

Long-term care providers utilizing engagement technology deliver personalized care and improve a resident’s quality of life. Everyone deserves to con- tinue living a full life as they age – one with joy, purpose and meaningful connections. This technology brings people together, connecting seniors with what interests and fulfills them all while enabling them to share conversations, experiences, learning and fun with each other, their caregivers and family members. Additionally, it will likely foster ongoing interactions as family members are able to connect with their parents and grandparents from anywhere and anytime.

It’s a time for all of us to step up and help others take care of our beloved and vulnerable elder population. Experts stress there are ways to stay in touch with and care for the elderly without putting them at risk of exposure to COVID-19. We should be encouraging residents and their families to embrace engagement technology for their health and the health of those around them.

Michelle Lovitt is the owner of Audubon Care Homes, located at 4713 Dreyfous Avenue in Metairie. For more information and to schedule a personal tour of Metairie’s newest home, call 290-1717 or email info@auduboncarehomes.com.