The spread of the coronavirus has undoubtedly created a sense of panic amongst the general population. Such an unprecedented occurrence has given way to anxiety, as people are scrambling to find ways to cope with the sudden shift in their lifestyles. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have also put senior citizens in the at-risk category, giving rise to panic and fear.
In such times, it becomes the responsibility of the community to ensure that proper lines of communication are maintained at all times. While we leave the major breakthroughs to the experts, our job as a community is to radiate positivity, empathy, and optimism.
Key Channels of Communication
Social Media: As family members of the seniors residing at assisted living facilities are coping with restrictions too, this is the best time to make use of social media to maintain a semblance of normalcy. Upload regular videos that showcase meal times, social-distance activities, and how residents are making the best use of their time while remaining indoors. Videos always carry a personal touch, and will certainly lift the spirits of the seniors’ loved ones and help them stay hopeful and calm.
Blog: Assisted living centers can also publish regular blog posts about the COVID-19 situation and the various changes that it has brought about. These articles can range from efforts made by the management to quell fear and curb the spread of the virus, to personal stories shared by residents regarding their take on the global pandemic. Residents can also give insights into their experience at the center, as well as their journey into assisted living.
Empathetic and Responsible Communication – What to Remember
There is no doubt that times are tough for everyone, but for seniors and their families (considering the high COVID-19 risk at their age group), it's especially scary. It is of utmost importance to remain empathetic, sensitive, and careful regarding your communications and marketing approach.
Senior and Assisted Living Centers should focus on delivering timely and consistent communication, so as to suppress any fears and shine a light on what measures can be taken up. In addition to all the preparations being undertaken in line with operations, an effective crisis communication plan must be implemented.
Ensure that a capable team is appointed to look after all aspects of communications during this time. They should be proactive in delivering accurate, timely, and relevant news to all the residents at the center, their family, as well as the staff members.
The communications team should be able to assure the community that the center is taking the correct preventative measures by sanitizing and disinfecting the property, limiting visitation hours, and keeping a close eye on residents with the right health screening measures. It is also important to relay the same information to all the staff members, so that they remain aware of their enhanced responsibilities during this time.
It is absolutely essential to have a plan of action ready if and when cases arise. The most important step is to maintain clear and transparent communication. Keep family members and the general public in the loop of any confirmed cases and subsequent suspected cases.
Be proactive in sending out consistent updates with regards to the situation at the assisted living facility, while also mentioning any new protocols or decisions taken up by the management. The media gaze on senior living centers will be more acute, so it is important to designate a media spokesperson who can calmly and effectively communicate any news, if the need arises.
Looking for Help Managing Your Blog, Social Media or Creating Empathetic Communication? Godot Media can Help.
Considering there will be so much to do for the management and staff of senior/assisted living centers in these tough times, some help will be welcome. Godot Media is a content writing agency with over a decade of experience managing blog and social media presence and crafting high quality communication and copy. Godot would be happy to be of assistance to you to craft clear and concise communication where required, and taking off the load of keeping your blog and social media going.
Besides, blog and social media, Godot can also assist you with website copy, newsletters, or crafting email or letter communication.
Godot is a managed service with a dedicated account manager, who is the central point of contact for all requirement communication, feedback and more. Godot’s team of writers and reviewers consist of highly-skilled individuals with years of writing experience (quite a few with 10-15 years). The team can manage your project end-to-end, offering a fully personalized service.
Coming closer together as a community is the need of the hour. With the right communication, we can achieve this goal and emerge as a kinder and more compassionate society. Senior and assisted living care centers which are proactive with compassionate and trust-inspiring communication will win the long term trust of their customers and families.
Hear it straight from assisted living CEOs and business owners: what are they currently doing to adapt to the new norms? How can they maintain a positive environment while enforcing the proper health protocols during this time? Read more here.
Aishwarya is a content strategist with Godot Media. She has studied law but has chosen content as her career for her love of writing.