For senior living communities, it is particularly important to deliver crisis communications in a timely manner while staying honest and delivering those messages in a way that will reach everyone. Senior living communities can be high-risk populations, and in most cases, you want to make sure you are communicating not only with residents but with their families as well.
Below, we’ve laid out best practices for crisis communications in your senior living communities.
Be Timely in How You Deliver Your Communications
In times of crisis, delivering messages in a timely manner is essential. From a hurricane to COVID-19, things can change on an hourly or daily basis. Each crisis will have its own cadence for updates, but it is always beneficial if your residents know when they can expect to hear from you next. So in your communications, always make it known when you will deliver the next update to them.
Be Transparent in Your Crisis Communications
Nothing feels worse than being left in the dark. Not only will this create more issues, with residents asking additional questions you may not have covered, but it will also create an overall distrust of your organization.
The amount of information you need to provide will vary based on the issue, but some things your community may need to know include:
- Are there visitation restrictions in place?
- Will there be a need to evacuate?
- Will this change residents’ day-to-day schedules?
By providing the truth and as much detail as possible, you will mitigate any issues that could arise if your residents and their family members were to feel ill-informed. When you are doing your best to provide all the information you can to your community, everyone will appreciate your transparency in a time of crisis.
How to Best Deliver Your Crisis Communication Updates
In order for your crisis communication updates to be effective, they need to reach all the people you intend to communicate with. The most effective method will vary by community, but sending out recorded telephone messages and emails to residents and their families should cover all your bases. Phone calls, emails, and social media updates can be sent out on a quicker and larger scale.
Also, when you deliver these messages, ensure you include contact information for the person the recipient should reach out to if they have any questions. Having dedicated staff who can answer whatever questions may arise is vital. You can also draw from any frequently asked questions to make your future updates more effective.
It is impossible to know when the next crisis will affect your senior living communities, but you can control how and when you deliver your updates. Staying on top of crisis communications is not only necessary but also helps offer peace of mind to your residents and their families while building trust for your brand.
How does your senior living community handle crisis communications?