Opening live and ongoing communication between the clients, families and the community, is an approach that is quickly becoming the norm for many providers looking to create an inclusive and personalised support environment. It goes without saying, that transparency and communication is at the heart of every care providers ethos. So how are groups doing this?
Simply put… technology.
We have seen first hand how through the creation of inclusive environments, there is a reduction in social isolation and depression. Even more-so across residential aged care providers, clients having the ability to access and use technology (with the providers assistance), is an immensely powerful element of the client experience.
Opening a digital channel allows providers to create better connections with the community around them and help maintain family and close friend relationships. What are some simple tools groups are using?
Facebook – If you haven’t unlocked the power of social media and in particular Facebook, you had better get too it. Facebook is a great way to connect with the wider community offering virtually unlimited possibilities to share the work you do. As awareness creates interest, we see many marketing teams across aged care providers using this as a way to reach out. It can be a little noisey at times (lots of varied content) but an essential way to show off some of the great things your group does in the community.
Instagram – The rise of image based social media platforms have enjoyed a rush over the past few years and with sites like Instagram and Snapchat starting to take hold in the corporate sector and with the elderly. More and more orginisation’s are looking to personalise their services and show a softer side of the orginisation. Sites like this give providers the opportunity to share fun, light touch sentiments that help create a community image. Take a fun photo of your team, or a quick “snap” of how you do things. A great approach is to simply take a few seconds of video that show what its like to be part of your team.
Skype – Like other messenger apps, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, Skype lets clients communicate with their loved one’s or team from anywhere in the world. Lots of our clients add Skype along with a suite of apps on a central tablet device for clients to use in residential settings as well as their homes. It’s easy. When spending time with a client, open Skype, help them start a video call and way they go!
Time and time again we hear providers say that our clients or staff aren’t tech savvy and don’t want to be connected, that “we are fine the way things are”. What is worrying, is that this behaviour, in time, will result in environments that no longer meet client needs. Now more than ever is a time to embrace the tools and technology that can help clients stay connected to their communities, families and services. If not for the wellbeing of clients but to stay competitive in the emerging market. If more providers embraced the tools available to them, the future would look a lot brighter for clients / residents.