Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, and Godmothers! We are celebrating a little differently this year, and you, along with your residents and their families, may not be able to give loved ones the hugs and kisses we normally do on this special day. But if recent weeks have taught us anything, it’s that we can be creative during these tough times and as the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention!”.
You’ve probably helped many of your residents connect with their families using video apps like Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts. If you need more information on these or want a quick tutorial on apps you’re not familiar with, DailyCaring.com has got it covered. Check out these:
· Zoom offers free options and it’s easy to get into the video call because only one person needs a Zoom account. Others can join a “meeting” that the account holder sets up when they send a link via email. Zoom has great call quality and is also offering extra support and tutorials here.
· Get instructions on how get started on Skype here.
· There’s a Google Hangouts step-by-step tutorial here from Techradar.
· If your resident uses a smartphone regularly, they may already have video calling set up, like FaceTime on Apple iPhones.
· Additional free video calling services for mobile devices and computers include: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype (iPhone / Android), Google Hangouts (iPhone / Android), and Google Duo (iPhone / Android).
· And, don’t forget the old-fashioned telephone! For some older adults, this may be easier and just as sufficient, and allow your staff to help residents connect with family members more quickly and consistently.
You don’t need to limit video and phone calls to just family members. Residents may be missing their friends who live a few doors down or on a different floor of your community. Get them connected to talk, share their feelings with each other! Other ideas:
· Everyone likes to get mail! Encourage family members to send cards, letters, drawings, photos and poems to their loved ones.
· For residents with dementia, ask family members to record a message to their loved one and text the message to a staff person. Then they can replay the recording when the resident is feeling lonely and missing their family.
· Ask family members and people in the community to hold a “car parade” for residents! Residents can watch while cars drive by and beep, hold signs and play music for residents and staff. This can be a fun way to celebrate birthdays too!
· In some communities, local tree trimming companies are using their cherry-picker trucks to raise family members up to say hi to loved ones in rooms on the higher floors. Maybe one in your community will too!
· Resident want to help during this crisis too. They can make a difference my making “Thank You” cards for staff in your community. Hang them outside residents’ doors so staff can see as they enter residents’ rooms.
Wish you had more iPads, laptops and smart phones for residents to use during this time? Stories of generosity are all over the news, so don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for donations! Many companies, churches, organizations and everyday people looking to help have held fundraisers to raise money to buy laptops and phones or have donated used equipment to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Don’t forget to ask family members to donate their old smart phones and iPads too!
Have a great week!