As the coronavirus epidemic continues, leaders across the senior living industry are seeking to find ways to strike a balance between the risk of social isolation and the risk of infection. Communities are harnessing live streaming, communicative technologies to help their clients and maintain community during this time. Here are five ways organizations are working to maintain their community and their business despite shutdowns.
Live Streaming Technologies Can Help Maintain Business During Shutdowns
Delivering Virtual Caregiving
Virtual caregiving is an incredible way to utilize live streaming during shutdowns. Remote care takes a variety of forms: fitness, nutrition, mental health, physicals, and more can all be provided virtually. Learn more about the benefits of virtual caregiving here.
Create Online Health Programming
Special Olympics Arizona has developed a unique way to deliver programming to its more than 25,000 athletes through SOAZconnected, a new digital platform that connects SOAZ athletes, coaches, volunteers, partners and supporters, through televëda’s live streaming service.
SOAZconnected is a novel virtual strategy created to promote and support the physical, emotional, and social well being for not just SOAZ athletes, but all members of SOAZ’s communities through interactive, web-based engagement opportunities in health & wellness, sports & fitness, arts, and education.
“I had an athlete say to me after we announced we were postponing our competitions: ‘You can’t take this away. If you do, I lose everything,’ and that really hit home to me,” said Jamie Heckerman, President and CEO of Special Olympics Arizona. “So I realized how important Special Olympics Arizona was to our athletes and we felt it was important to come up with a new strategy to provide programming that we normally deliver to keep all of athletes engaged, both physically and mentally.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of COVID-19, which directs nursing homes to limit outside visitors and nonessential personnel in order to protect the health and well being of residents.
Recognizing that such restrictions are burdensome for residents and families, CMS is accepting requests from facilities for use of the Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Reinvestment funds to provide residents with adaptive communicative technologies, such as tablets, iPads, or web-cams, to help residents stay connected with the community and their loved ones. These devices can also be used to help residents attend telehealth visits.
To apply to receive CMP funds for this purpose, please contact your state agency’s CMP contact (here’s a state-based list). The application is very simple and must include (i) Facility Name(s) and CMS Certification Numbers (CCNs), (ii) Number of residents, (iii) Type of devices (brand and model), (iv) Cost per device, and (v) Number of devices requested along with the total funds requested. More information can be found here.
Provide Virtual Classes for All Ages
The COVID-19 pandemic has left cities tasked with promoting social distancing while still maintaining connectivity and an active lifestyle among its residents. As the City of Innovation, Chandler, Arizona enthusiastically embraced the digital movement and is bringing its most popular recreational programs to its users virtually.
Chandler has been offering a plethora of classes for all ages since the beginning of May, through televëda’s interactive and livestream platform. Offerings include live sports coaching, kids and adult arts, family and kids dance classes, and fitness classes. To see all of their options, check out their website.
Chandler is one of only cities across North America that has a virtual recreational center allowing its residents to meet, interact and stay active–all from the comfort of their homes. By keeping residents engaged virtually, they’re able to maintain community despite shutdowns.
Live Stream Classes for Senior Community Residents
Now that senior communities have implemented safety measures, is the plan to “wait for COVID-19 to pass?” The issue with waiting is that social distancing is contributing to a different, but just as serious problem among older adults: loneliness due to social isolation.
Many communities had robust life enrichment programs, and they did not want the level of engagement to drop during the lockdown. But, just because Facebook Live, YouTube, or Zoom is inexpensive, doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement, or for senior residents and communities to use. And that’s where televëda comes in. Residents participate in televëda’s interactive, live streamed classes from the comfort of their rooms, or a community room setting with residents sitting 6 feet apart. Our platform is accessible for seniors, provides fresh live and interactive programs every month and on-demand videos, as well as allows communities to have their own classes broadcasted.
Park Terrace Senior Living, Beatitudes Campus, and The Palazzo are some of the few senior living communities to continue their community events uninterrupted. These organizations are leading the way in technological innovation and offering unparalleled resident experience, because they know residents who are actively engaged live longer and better. And communicative, live streaming technology offers more potential to increase engagement, and therefore longevity.
Park Terrace Senior Living, a resort style senior living in Arizona, refused to let their life enrichment experience be reduced by shutdowns. Beatitudes’ senior community members take advantage—and excel—at virtual class offerings every week. The Palazzo, a full-care community recently named the Best Independent Living Community by the Jewish News’ Best of the Best Readers Choice Awards, is even using their community TV channel to broadcast the live stream classes.
televëda provides Activities Teams with a plug-and-play catalog of live and interactive events that are specially designed for seniors, so staff did not have to worry about creating or finding online programs. And, perhaps even more important, the platform is secure, and televëda’s tech support walked through with each resident on how to join the classes. From virtual Bingo, to tours of Thailand, to practicing Chair Yoga, residents now experience these expert-led classes from the comfort of their rooms.
Live Streaming Technologies Can Help Create a Virtual Community
Organizations are taking the shutdowns seriously, and not letting them end the community experience for their clients, customers, and users. By using live streaming, communicative technology, it is possible to maintain growth and continue engagement, despite the social distance health policies.
Contact us today at [email protected] to learn more about how you can maintain and enhance your community during shutdowns, and well into the future.
televëda is a live streaming platform that provides online and in-person activity programming for senior centers and communities. Our mission is to reduce social isolation for the elderly by creating interactive, live streamed classes for seniors, that range from virtually visiting a sea turtle rescue center to learning dance techniques from TeamUSA. televëda supports healthy aging by promoting seniors’ physical, mental, and social health by using technological innovation to create community.