By Mary Haynes
Most people wouldn’t expect social media, virtual tours, online support groups or VR training curriculum to be synonymous with modern skilled nursing practices. But the fact is, a lot has changed in specialized care as a result of the pandemic. Technology is now at the forefront of everything we’re doing. It’s part of a large-scale concerted effort to keep residents connected with loved ones in times of isolation and loneliness.
A trend toward more enhanced and integrated technology at skilled nursing centers means that families can feel more comfortable placing their loved ones in long-term care. While it is impossible to replace personal touch and in-person visits, technology is proving that it has a permanent place in enriching residents’ and patients’ lives. I believe putting this into perspective for families will shift the way they approach the decision to seek skilled nursing care.
With all of that said, there are several things that indicate it’s time to seek skilled care for a loved one. Do they need medical care for an injury or illness as in rehabilitation or specialized care? Are they consistently needing assistance with daily activities such as preparing meals, doing laundry or driving? Would around-the-clock nursing care and supervision be beneficial to them? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it’s time to have that discussion.
Skilled care communities like Nazareth Home in Louisville provide care that focuses on each individual’s needs, preferences and abilities. We deliver specialized nursing care such as medication management; physical, occupational and speech therapy; specialized care for memory loss (Alzheimer’s/dementia); proper nutrition for a healthy diet; and social and spiritual support.
What to look for in a care provider
There are many different ways to approach long-term care, but at Nazareth, we maintain a person-centered philosophy that prioritizes staff and resident alignment. This means that our residents receive consistent care from the same staff members in an effort to build a meaningful bond and trust between staff, residents and families.
This philosophy puts residents in control of their own care based on their personal preference, rather than a more clinical, rigid approach. I believe that residents must feel engaged in terms of their care – that’s the best, and arguably the only, way that will offer them a sense of meaning and purpose at this stage in their lives.
We are embracing all that technology has to offer in order to further our commitment to person-centered care. We’ve found that the pandemic has only increased the need for long-term facilities to empower their residents. Technology like online support groups, social media, and video chats have enabled us to care even deeper for our residents’ physical and mental well-being. I encourage families to seek a provider that is embracing technology in this way as it is so crucial in these times of isolation.