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Best Practices for Scheduling and Managing Routine Visits in Senior Living Communities

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Routine visits play a vital role in ensuring the well-being and quality of life of residents in senior living communities. From regular check-ups to discussions about simple wellness matters, routine visits offer a source of support and reassurance to residents. They can be an important form of social contact that bolsters residents’ mental and emotional wellness.

With numerous residents, varying schedules, and the need for efficient coordination, the process of scheduling routine visits can quickly become overwhelming. Luckily, the advent of technology has brought about a range of innovative solutions to address these challenges.

Keeping Track of Regular Check-Ups

Before relying on technology, though, it’s important for your facility to establish which routine check-ups are essential for each of your residents:

     A yearly physical exam can help safeguard overall wellness.

     Dental checkups are also key to mitigating cavities and even for taking X-rays that can identify the early signs of potentially serious issues.

     Regular eye exams and hearing tests can help assess whether your residents need extra resources.

Keep in mind that some residents may also have other needs related to specific health conditions or concerns. Be sure to always tailor these routine appointments to suit the unique needs of each one of your residents.

Collaborating with Care Professionals

Collaborating with healthcare professionals ensures that residents in senior living facilities receive the visits and attention they need. By working closely with medical experts, senior living facility administrators, and staff can enhance the quality of care and optimize resident outcomes. Digital tools have emerged that help make these collaborations for routine visits more practical and effective.

One of the key tools in this regard is online telehealth platforms. This can be particularly effective for staff and residents to collaborate on issues where in-person attendance isn’t strictly necessary. For instance, conjunctivitis — also known as pink eye — is a contagious viral, bacterial, or allergic condition that may be treated using over-the-counter remedies. In some instances, though, it needs to be examined by a doctor who can provide advice to limit complications or prescribe treatment. By utilizing telehealth, staff can collaborate with doctors without the need for residents to leave the comfort of the senior living facility or risk spreading the condition to other individuals living in the facilities.

In addition, remote monitoring devices can be important for facilitating collaboration between senior living facility staff and healthcare providers. Wearable sensors allow for continuous tracking and real-time transmission of residents’ vital signs, activity levels, and other health-related data. By integrating remote monitoring technology into the routine care process, senior living facility staff can provide healthcare professionals with accurate and up-to-date information about residents' health. This can help streamline check-up appointments, provide useful data points for care providers, and also allow for timely interventions wherever necessary. These types of innovations can also ensure that residents are up-to-date on their own care and can be active in making their own health-related decisions. Options like these can be part of a community’s commitment to providing access to high-quality care and helping residents safeguard their health as they age.

Communicating with Residents

The most important parts of scheduling and managing routine visits are the senior living facility’s residents. Effective dialogue about their wellness is key to providing comprehensive and relevant care. By establishing clear and open lines of communication, senior living facility staff can better understand residents' needs, address their concerns, and even keep families well-informed. The digital landscape offers tools to facilitate this connection and maintain accurate records of resident interactions.

One of the most important tools in this regard is online resident portals or communication apps. Adoption of effective software of this nature can greatly enhance communication between senior living staff and residents. These solutions provide a secure and user-friendly interface where residents can access information about their own wellness, review their schedules and appointments, and communicate their preferences or concerns to staff. This can be particularly useful when staff members aren’t immediately on hand to answer questions about medical visits.

This can also be an effective channel for keeping families informed about requirements surrounding their own visits to the living community to spend time with loved ones. In many cases, families can be granted access to the portal to see residents’ availability and ask staff questions. This can be especially useful for also distributing guidelines about visitation during periods of a public health emergency, as with the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep in mind as well that technology-based scheduling can be used for more than health-related visits. There is plenty of evidence that demonstrates that family involvement is essential to combat mental health challenges associated with loneliness. Technology-based communication solutions are one way to ensure that families who are not able to visit their loved ones in person can still reach out to talk about life milestones and strengthen family bonds.

Ultimately, though embracing these tech solutions is important, it’s equally vital to maintain meaningful human connections with residents. Technology should be viewed as a tool to enhance and support these interactions, rather than replace them entirely. Face-to-face interactions, listening to residents' concerns, and providing empathetic care are irreplaceable aspects of nurturing the well-being of residents.


Written By

Sam Bowman

Sam Bowman writes about people, aging, wellness, and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.


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