By Carter Severns, Director of Marketing, OneDay (a Senior Living Foresight partner)

Due to social distancing now in effect in most states, normal day-to-day communication efforts have come to a standstill. This is a wakeup call to all of us to rise to the challenge before us and find other ways of communicating. We must do so quickly so we don’t leave family members and others throughout our greater communities in the dark.

The good news is that we are seeing many communities embracing technologies they have not actively used in the past to help them in their attempt to maintain some sense of normalcy in terms of communications. OneDay provides a video platform, but I want to make it clear that this isn’t about OneDay. This is about serving our community by sharing some best practices on using video to help communicate and engage residents, family members, and prospective residents as your communities continue to prioritize the safety of your residents.

Ultimately, the goal for everyone involved is to maintain healthy, open lines of communication while keeping residents and prospects as safe as possible. Here are our tips:

  1. Thoughtfully Update Your Community Consistently — Stay in front of panic by communicating through video with families. Videos show authenticity and carry tone, which is critical at this time. It is the best way to keep those important to your communities informed and up to date. There has been recent criticism of blanket, generic emails and messages across the industry that feel hollow to the audience and often are lost in a crowd of the same kinds of messages sent the same kind of way. In a time of crisis, don’t be afraid to take a dive deep and stand out. Genuine emotion and human connections are immeasurably helpful during times like these. Videos resonate with both residents and staff, especially when transparency is absolutely critical.
  2. Help Families Stay Connected — With family visits now very restricted, video bridges communication gaps between residents and their loved ones. Using this approach, communities can ensure their residents’ families are able to stay in touch in the most meaningful way. This simple and intentional gesture will bring much-needed peace of mind to residents and families alike at a time when they need it most. Providing these types of communication platforms to residents and families shows that you care about their physical and their emotional well-being.
  3. Virtually Send Tours — In-person visits dropped significantly over the course of Q1, and there is no predicting what will happen in the near term. Families are still in need of senior housing and we as an industry will continue to serve that need. Community leaders should be using the video platform to connect with prospective residents and their families and provide personalized remote tour videos to them. This creative outreach drives the relationship with the prospective residents and their families and demonstrates that even in strange, confusing, and stressful times, community staff members are a wonderful resource and happy to assist in whatever way possible.

We are constantly humbled and grateful for the role OneDay plays in building and maintaining relationships, where the ability to drive connections through video is now more important than ever before. Our partners value the health and safety of the senior population, and we are proud to take such an active, continuing role in helping communities and their residents through such trying, uncertain times.

These challenges, as overwhelming as they might seem at the moment, won’t last forever. But until this crisis lifts, we will continue to be an unrelenting partner in keeping families assured, residents safe, and senior communities strong.