Our thoughts are with all of you, your residents, and staff during this stressful time of dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. You and your staff are likely busy reassuring the nervous loved ones of your residents, reminding staff of infection prevention protocols, and cancelling group outings and activities.
With so many changes to routine, how can you continue to honor resident preferences for activities and social contact?
Attention should shift to focus on more individual vs. group preferences. Here are some things to consider:
· What preferences can be fulfilled independently or one-to-one with disposable materials? Prepare those materials to be used in resident rooms and identified quarantine areas.
· Identify those residents with preferences for setting their room up for comfort and doing what makes them feel better when they are upset.
· Residents at risk for social isolation could benefit from increased access to communicating with their loved ones via technology. Using Skype, Face Time, or simply calling loved ones on an old-fashioned phone can help. Ask activities personnel to oversee facilitating social contact for residents with loved ones.
· Our data suggests that reading, watching a movie, and listening to music are among the most favored things to do by yourself. Consider developing a theme of the week (or every few days) to keep it fun and interesting.
· There are resources on the Preference Based Living (PBL) website (https://preferencebasedliving.com/ )for honoring preferences when the choice involves risk. There are risks to physical and psychological health that need to be accounted for when isolating people for “their own safety”. The PBL website is home to the PELI (Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory) and all PELI resources (which are free!). The resources, webinars, tip sheets, newsletters, etc. are all geared to person-centered care and honoring resident preferences. The resources related to honoring resident preferences when the choice involves risk could have some relevant information
Lastly, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine has developed some helpful strategies for mitigating the emotional impact of the outbreak. Access it here: https://paltc.org/sites/default/files/Protecting%20Residents%20from%20Potential%20Emotional%20Harm%20of%20COVID-19.pdf
Do you have any great systems in place for honoring resident preference during quarantine? Please share your ideas with us, we’d love to hear them!
Have a great week!