All of our lives were greatly impacted in the spring of 2020, when most of the country was under stay-at-home orders. Many people felt isolated and lonely, but none more so than seniors.
According to a May 2020 study conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 35% of adults aged 45 and older and 43% of adults aged 60 and older report feeling lonely. The prevalence of severe loneliness among older people living in care homes is at least double that of the rest of the population: 22% to 42% for the resident population compared with 10% for the community population.
Many care homes looked to live streaming technology during the quarantine to provide novel and engaging ways to prevent seniors from feeling alone. Virtual events, such as bingo games, performances, and lessons, all served to entertain and inform. These same technologies provided senior’s loved ones with necessary information, such as infection numbers, and later, vaccine rates within the retirement facility.
While COVID-19 restrictions have eased, physical distance or health concerns can still prevent seniors from leaving their places of residence or keep their loved ones from visiting. Fortunately, live streaming technology provides many opportunities for entertainment and communication.
One of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommendations to prevent feelings of isolation among seniors is to live stream religious services.
There are several ways you can provide your residents with access to religious services. Activity staff should have information about each resident’s religion and can help them find their preferred live-streamed religious service to watch from their tablet or laptop via social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
Your organization can also partner with local houses of worship to broadcast services through cable television by inserting your cable TV channel with a TV modulator. The events can be viewed either by seniors individually in their rooms or in audiovisual meeting space (if current social distancing regulations allow) with a projector and large screen so they can commune with others for a shared experience. If your meeting space is not large enough to accommodate residents with social distancing in mind, this same video feed can be distributed to overflow areas with large flat panel displays.
Live Streaming technology can also allow your organization to keep family members informed and provide them with immediate information on their loved ones. Providing such a service was crucial when retirement facilities were quarantined, but there are still other applications for real-time updates, such as in the event of a weather event or just to update so family members can learn about goings-on.
Pan tilt zoom cameras from manufacturers, such as PTZOptics, and software and audio systems are necessary tools to allow effective live streaming from your care facility, as is a solid WiFi connection throughout the facility to ensure an uninterrupted live-streamed event or webinar.
Platforms like Facebook Live can allow you to introduce your facility to potential residents and their relatives. Staff can hold Q&A sessions, introduce team members, and showcase what day-to-day life looks like in your facility.
Haverford Systems Incorporated is an innovative audiovisual installation company serving the Philadelphia region with more than 30 years of experience. We have worked closely with many retirement facilities in the tri-state area to install live-streaming systems that ensure successful virtual events and webinars using custom or high-quality pre-built systems.
Our team designs and integrates audiovisual meeting spaces, closed-circuit TV solutions, digital signage, paging and video surveillance systems for senior care homes.
Contact us to find out how we can partner with your organization.