As the spread of COVID-19 continues throughout the United States, we recognize many residents of Senior Living facilities as well as staff members will struggle to stay safe, healthy and content. That’s why our experts created this list of tips for using Senior Living technology to help you keep morale up and maintain safety at your Senior Living community.

Keeping Your Community Healthy and Secure

One of the most notable ways to help protect resident health and safety is keeping track of who enters the building and reducing unnecessary visitors.

Visitor Management

Visitor management systems can allow you to screen guests, automate sign-in and sign-out procedures, print identifying badges and view visitor logs. These systems can often be quickly deployed, and in some instances, can be self-installed.

The Brivo Visitor Management system is a cost-effective monthly subscription solution that can be deployed quickly on any iPad to enable your community to automate the sign-in/sign-out experience, notify staff when visitors arrive and get reports of visitors to the community. Plus, it can be installed by facility staff. Complete this solution with a tablet and tablet stand.

Maintaining Senior Living Security

Managing who enters your facility is critical during this time to ensure the safety of your staff and residents. Additionally, securing medical equipment now will help guarantee it is there when you need it. Access control, card readers and wireless lock systems can be easily deployed to help ensure only approved staff can enter the building or certain rooms. Special proximity and no-touch motion sense readers can also be deployed to help eliminate the spread of germs when accessing doors.

Intercom systems can allow your staff to video chat with visitors to screen them before remotely granting access. Additionally, video security systems can be installed throughout the interior or exterior of a building to monitor guests and keep track of potential intruders or those who may seek to steal critical medical supplies.

Our extensive product offering and nationwide installation services can help you deploy these systems in your building. Contact us for help choosing the best solution for your community.

Monitor Viral Transmissions and Resident Movements

Closely monitoring residents and staff can help reduce the amount of novel coronavirus transmissions. Here are a few solutions that can help you keep tabs:

Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS)

If a resident contracts the novel coronavirus, do you know which staff and residents he or she came in contact with? Do you know if your staff members are washing their hands after each resident interaction? Real-time location tracking systems can help you get to the bottom of these questions by tracking staff, residents and assets in your building. These systems can be so accurate that they can identify where in a room a resident is standing, which other residents or staff they’ve been close to, and if staff members have washed their hands. These systems also enable residents and staff to call for help when needed while keeping track of where valuable medical equipment is located.

Cost-effective RTLS for Senior Living will allow you and your staff to put a robust infection control process in place. Contact us to learn more about these systems.

Temperature Sensing

Early, noninvasive detection of residents and staff with fevers can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Infrared thermometers are a great way to achieve this, but new technology is emerging in this space to provide remote temperature taking, such as thermal cameras capable of detecting small changes in a person’s temperature. Along with new resident wearables, these are some of the cutting-edge solutions poised to enter Senior Living in the near future.

Infrared thermometers enable you to take the temperature of residents, staff and guests without making physical contact. While we do offer infrared thermometers, we are currently experiencing shortages on these products due to high demand. In the meantime, other vitals instrumentation can also play a role in remotely assessing health.

Need help finding which thermometers are best for your senior population? Read our tips.

Virtual Visits and Resident Engagement

Because of social distancing practices and new visitor policies, it will be more difficult for residents to stay in touch with family and friends. Here are a few tips to help ensure your residents stay connected:

Commercial-Grade Wi-Fi

During the coming weeks and months, much of what happened in person will begin to occur virtually.  Can your Wi-Fi system and network handle this increase in traffic? Family members will want to video chat with their loved ones and telehealth visits will require high-definition video, taxing your wireless network. Much can be done to quickly upgrade your Wi-Fi system to serve your organization’s needs.

If you need help upgrading your Wi-Fi, our team can assist. We’ll work with you to fully understand the current and future demands for connectivity and speed in your community. Connect with our team to learn more.

Avoiding Senior Living Isolation

CMS recently provided guidance to limit guests at Senior Living facilities, which can lead to increased resident isolation and boredom. These factors can have a negative effect on overall health. One way to help mitigate feelings of isolation is through connected technology, which can engage the minds of residents to help them improve their cognitive function and increase satisfaction through social connectedness while still practicing physical distancing.

Consider the iN2L, which is an engagement platform offering person-centered, social, cognitive, spiritual and emotional content in the form of interactive videos and games. Find more details about this solution.

Another great option is the Notify Resident Engagement App, a new, soon-to-be-released software solution that connects residents to family members or staff, so they can be socially engaged and receive important notifications and updates. The software can be used on any smart device, such as a TV or tablet. Follow Direct Supply on LinkedIn or contact our team to sign up for our email list to receive updates on this solution and other upcoming releases.

Also consider devices such as the Amazon Echo Show and Facebook Portal, which allow residents to video chat with friends and family. These tools are a great way to help residents feel more connected.

From online games to hallway sing-alongs, find more ways to foster resident engagement during this time.

Telehealth

How do you offer doctor visits to residents in an environment where social distancing is critical? Telehealth is a great solution to this problem. Telehealth and telemedicine use technology to offer virtual doctor visits and medical consultations. Residents can engage in a video call with a remote physician, and often the onsite nursing aide can assist in the assessment. Additionally, CMS has expanded Medicare coverage of telehealth services and relaxed HIPAA enforcement to enable providers to use telehealth to help combat COVID-19.

Connect with our team to learn more about changes to telehealth and what Senior Living-specific tech companies are doing to support these changes.

Remote Workforce Technology

As much of the country transitions to an at-home, remote workforce during this crisis, having the right computing and technology equipment is critical. Monitors, cables, laptops, webcams, printers and more are needed for success during this time. Help your remote workforce continue to contribute at a high level with an array of technology that enables them to work.

Nurse Call Deployments & Modifications

As communities move residents to isolation areas, which are often makeshift rooms in common spaces, their in-room nurse call devices typically don’t go with them. If you are in need of a wireless nurse call solution for transitional areas of your community, we offer emergency kits that are essentially wireless nurse call in a box. If you already have a wireless system, find the additional pendants or pull cords you need during this time.

Some communities may find it helpful to augment the functionality of their systems to track staff rounding, or add door sensors with wireless keypads to monitor residents entering or leaving their rooms, specifically in Memory Care wings. Contact us to learn how you can add different sensors based on your staff and resident needs.

In these challenging times, Senior Living technology can help you keep your staff and residents safe and healthy. If you need help finding the right solution or have any questions, contact our team.