Seniors Housing: How to Set Up a Virtual Visitation

Senior Living|Thought Leadership|

Senior housing communities’ number one priority is to keep residents healthy and happy. We know how heavily the COVID-19 situation and its restrictions are weighing on you and your residents. We know how important it is to keep spirits high (theirs and yours!) during this difficult time.

So how can you help residents and families who are missing their loved ones when personal visits are not allowed?

Virtual visitations!

Today, we want to share a simple way to put this program in place.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set up virtual visitation for those technologically-challenged residents who do not have access to cell phones or PCs:

  1. Select several staff members—visitation directors—to organize the scheduling for the visits.
  2. Provide a dedicated laptop or tablet to run the virtual visits.
  3. Show them how to use Zoom (or the selected online software of your choice). At infinitee, we love using Zoom for our virtual meetings…we find it easy and reliable. Here’s how to set up / schedule a meeting with Zoom.
  4. Use a shared google doc for the staff to organize and manage the calendar of resident “visits.” Staff members can set up a calendar of virtual visits for residents by planning a time with their family members. It’s best to keep this all in one calendar. They may choose to have a calendar in Google, Yahoo or Outlook—all of which are compatible with Zoom events. (Once a meeting is scheduled through Zoom, it can be easily added to the organizer’s Google, Yahoo or Outlook calendar.)
  5. If needed, have your team also instruct family members on how to join the Zoom meeting. If the resident’s family members don’t know how to use Zoom, send them this video. Here’s how to join a meeting with Zoom.

A few more suggestions:

  • To make the scheduling easier, suggest recurring visits for each resident (same time, same day of the week) to automate the process. This can also be implemented easily when scheduling in Zoom.
  • To share the good news with families, create a special email blast announcing the virtual visits. Share on social media, your blog, and your other communication channels.
  • If you wish to give families more control, update your website to include an icon/message encouraging them to “schedule your virtual visits with your loved ones now.” This could either link to an email with the visitation director, or if you want to be more technically advanced, to scheduling software like Calendly (which is compatible with Zoom meetings). It would allow you to make slots available, and residents to choose the days and times they prefer.

We know that setting up something new can be tricky, and if you don’t get the hang of it quickly, we are here to help. We can customize a program just for you. Set up a quick chat with Vince Vitti; he’ll be happy to speak to you and give you a hand. 

Thank you – for all that you’re doing to keep our loved ones safe, healthy and happy!

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