In the Covid-19 era, living in high-end housing communities has caused many difficulties for residents, and providers have to adapt quickly to maintain consumer satisfaction.
According to the new survey data shared, the good news is that residents seem to be very satisfied with the Covid-19 response. However, as the pandemic has intensified, new pain points have also emerged.
Jacquelyn Kung, CEO of Activated Insights’ Senior Care Group, said that the survey of 2,000 senior housing residents and their families in Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah highlighted where providers perform well and blind spots response programs. Housing news. Activated Insight is a great workplace company and the company behind Fortune Magazine’s Best Workplace for Aging Services of the Year.
Providers participating in the survey (such as WindRiver Management and Summit Vista) viewed the survey’s response as a touchstone for their response to the pandemic and identified areas for improvement as the pandemic continues to spread.
In general, families and residents are satisfied. Besides those who had participated in this survey, the highest community scored 94 on the Covid-19 issue, while the lowest community scored 74. In assisted living facilities, the highest community score is 95, and the lowest community score is 77. For this score to be found, Activated Insights utilized the percentages of those who had answered agree and strongly agree.
Participants in the survey also had the opportunity to elaborate on the provider’s response to the pandemic. The answers range from expressing gratitude for transparent communication and preparation to thanking employees for their professionalism and positive attitude towards work during the crisis. Some residents and their families said they want to see of these protocols kept after the pandemic has ended, and some pointed out the gaps in the security plans with the providers.
Chief Operating Officer Joe Hessley told SHN that the investigation strengthened WindRiver’s proactive approach to protecting the community during the pandemic. WindRiver is located within Duncansville, Texas and they manage 15 other communities located in Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida, which range from memory care to independent living, to affordable independent living to assisted living.
WindRiver restricts its facilities to only essential personnel, who define it as part of the residents’ established care plan. It also uses its campus for social events, meals, and events, and holds virtual meetings between residents and their families.
As a result, during the entire pandemic, most of WindRiver was virus-free. So far, no residents have gotten infected with Covid-19, and only colleagues in two states have tested positive for the virus. Operators have seen a surge of positive cases in a few markets, but have not relaxed their restrictions, and are carefully monitoring news reports for signs of the virus.
Hessley said that many WindRiver residents responded that they felt safe during the pandemic because of the operator’s actions.
Community Life Director Raquel Braithwaite told SHN that Summit Vista was worried about how its Covid-19 response would resonate with residents and was surprised to find that it received an overwhelmingly positive reception. Summit Vista is a life planning community located in Taylorsville, Utah.
“We think we can grasp the pulse of [residents] very well, but sometimes our perception of people’s feelings may be represented by a small group of loud people. Our views do not always match the data .” Braithwaite said.
Sales and marketing director Kelly Omberg told SHN that, in addition to the survey, Summit Vista has an eight-person resident advisory committee that is very active in providing feedback to each department. Besides, the operator will investigate each newcomer and several department-specific committees. Residents will voluntarily spend time in these committees to support the leadership and provide feedback. Summit Vista CEO Mark Erickson implements an open policy for residents.
Limit Compound Isolation
The investigation confirmed the provider’s suspicion that community restrictions and blockades exacerbate the sense of isolation among residents.
Braithwaite said that for Summit Vista, this has improved communication with residents and their families. Responses to the survey indicated an equal disagreement between residents who believe that the operator procedures are too strict and that those who believe operating procedures are not strict enough.
She said: “Those who feel that we are not restrictive enough hope that our advice to us will be stronger.”
Summit Vista recognizes the need for continuous education for the residents about risks and choices. Now, they have started to have daily meetings, which may happen multiple times a day, and can adjust its communications based on the information it receives. The operator also worked with the Utah Department of Health to provide guidance and balance residents’ concerns.
WindRiver implemented social isolation activities and health as early as possible, which helped alleviate the feeling of isolation that residents may encounter in other situations and helped to establish a stronger bond between people with lower levels of care. However, due to the inability to conduct physical visits with relatives, the cognitive deficits of memory care patients are worsened, and their daily work is disturbed.
But even the most prepared provider is not secure. Generally speaking, residents want this crisis to end, but most residents understand and follow the guidelines because they understand the risks and what it means to be high-risk individuals.
“They will love us, just ‘end Covid-19.’ We only like to fulfill this wish. We continue to be creative in meeting the needs of residents to alleviate the cautious fatigue we experience,” Braithwaite said.
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