How to Boost Patient Morale during a Pandemic

Nurse with Patient during pandemic

When the pandemic emerged in March 2020, skilled nursing and other group home facilities around the world were forced to quickly close to visitors. Though this was done to prevent exposure to vulnerable patient populations, extended time without seeing friends and family members has been hard on everyone.

Here at the Methodist Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation, we understood the impact that this seclusion would have on our residents. From the beginning, we put a variety of new procedures in place to boost patient morale during this time.

Video calls with family members

Though the technology for video calling isn’t new, it wasn’t used regularly by everyone before the pandemic. But, we quickly realized that giving our residents the ability to see the faces of their loved ones could often make the difference between a sad day and a happy one.

Though nothing can replace in-person interaction and human touch, communicating via mobile device video apps was and continues to be a great way for our residents to connect with the important people in their lives.

You can schedule a video visit with a resident of the Methodist Home via this page.

Regular wellness checks and reports to family members

Another thing that we did at our 120-bed facility is to assign each of our residents to a designated department head. Wellness checks of all residents were done throughout the week, with weekly reports given to family members by phone.

This process gave each of our residents a “person” who was not only keeping an eye on their physical vital signs but also checking on their emotional wellbeing and giving them some additional human connection. Residents also had the care and attention from nursing, therapy, activity, and other staff members each day.

Family members appreciated the extra reassurance during a time when they weren’t able to see their loved ones with their own eyes.

Outdoor garden visits

When it was deemed safe to do so amid following state regulations, we began offering scheduled outdoor garden visits for our residents to see their friends and family members.

Though this will become less of an option as we head into the New York winter season, our beautiful outdoor spaces have been a true blessing to everyone throughout the past several months.

Outdoor visits are also subject to change based upon state guidelines, but when available you can schedule an outdoor garden visit with a resident of the Methodist Home via this page.

Ongoing activities

In addition to doing what we could to ensure residents were still able to communicate with family members, we also have tried to keep daily activities and other offerings as “normal” as possible for our residents. While more things have been offered within each resident’s private room to maintain social distancing, regular daily activities have also been taking place throughout the pandemic.

Residents wear face masks when they aren’t in their rooms and regular handwashing is encouraged. We also enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities when the weather cooperated, including things like morning stretch and outdoor bowling.

Contact us for more information

At the Methodist Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation, our primary goal is to keep our residents healthy and happy as we all get through this situation. For more information about our five-star rated facility in Riverdale, New York, call us today at (718) 548-5100.

You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram!

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