It’s no secret that technology is one of the most important tools in any job. But how far can that technology go to really serve us? Well as it turns out, pretty far, and especially as of late! Now obviously this includes the medical technology that we rely on to help keep our loved ones and clients safe, strong, and healthy, but it certainly doesn’t stop there. The emergence of new technology into the near one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to provide ease and comfort as we work to accommodate the world that awaits on the other side, and this tech comes in all shapes and sizes!
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has left us in a world where the ability to connect is challenging. Social distancing, mandatory lockdowns, and highly strict rules when it comes to visiting seniors—especially our clients in care facilities—have forced a reconsideration of how to stay present in each other’s lives. Luckily, this comes at a time when rapid advances in technology have helped immensely in overcoming these challenges. Now right away, you probably think of things like Zoom, Alexa, Google Nest, Apple products, etc. and you’re right! But there have been many more innovative (and almost certainly) less expensive methods taken by some creative and thoughtful minds that are helping to bring families closer together in a time of worldwide isolation.
As many have done in their own homes with members of their extended family, the implementation and use of virtual meeting technology for those who require quality care has been a saving grace for many. It’s also given reason to some of our older clients and those of similar ages in other locations to learn and utilize technology they otherwise may not have. It is truly a wonderful feeling the first moment a client of ours makes a successful call to their loved ones and discovers the joy and ease that technology has brought them in a time when they could have gone months (or at this point more than a year) without seeing them! In addition, simple tasks like asking about the weather, hearing their schedule, or playing someone’s favorite music have become so much easier with this boost in the use of everyday technology, and again… it’s so wonderful to see and be a part of.
Another HUGE impact of technology has been in contact tracing. With number restrictions on visitations, it’s very important that we know how many people are at a care facility at a given time. As such, this tool has been quite successful in allowing families some more (safe) visitation time as vaccines are distributed more rapidly and the world begins working towards a return to some form of the old normalcy.
Some Simpler Technology
On the other side of the same coin, a large price tag (often associated with the aforementioned tools) has not necessarily been the only contributing factor of innovation in the technology used for quality care thus far. We have seen very creative endeavors! For example, there has been a wide array of small shelter construction near ground floor window units for families to visit safely in the winter months, keeping them protected from the elements while safely allowing outside visitations! In addition, there has also been the implementation of a simple and highly user-friendly software system that allows visitors to sign up in an orderly manner. This not only ensure safety to their loved ones, but anyone in the given bubble that might cross paths. This also goes hand-in-hand with the contract tracing tools mentioned above, as the one could simply not work without the other.
To put it lightly, it has helped us TREMENDOUSLY over the past year and continues to provide ease on our staff and caregivers alike to make sure they are working in the safest conditions possible.
A Tool in the Right Hands
The bottom line is that we could not have made this last year work without the wonderful technology available to us and all its many forms. I know it can be hard to take such a positive stance on some of it in this day and age (due to the many issues that we see every day with things like social media or mass production/online sales companies) but the right technology tool in the right hands can have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life. And after the year we’ve had, we are very comfortable hanging out hat on that fact!