Posted in on January 29, 2021

Three Tips for Updating Residents & Families About the Senior Living Covid-19 Vaccine Process

Vaccinating the roughly 3 million senior living community residents in America is no small task. And communicating with their families is a vital step in the process that can’t be overlooked. When communicating with families, it’s especially important to stress the benefits of receiving the vaccine. Older adults require more care than any other age group when they contract Covid-19 and have the highest mortality rate of any age group. The vaccine, first and foremost, is the strongest defense we have against the virus, especially when it comes to protecting more at-risk members of society.

But given the amount of uncertainty Covid-19 presents, it’s understandable why families may be hesitant to consent to their loved ones being vaccinated. Given the newness of the vaccine, there are sure to be questions regarding its safety, efficacy and long-term effects.

1. Lead the Way and Show Them It’s Safe

One of the ways communities, our clients included, have overcome objections is by having their leaders and administrators get the vaccine first. This approach has been effective in showing staffresidents and families how safe the vaccination process isSome communities are even incentivizing workers with paid days off if they get vaccinated.

Despite seeing others go through the process, there may still be some hesitation for some residents to get vaccinated. Be prepared to communicate with them and their families and answer any questions they may have. In the end, some members of the community may refuse to get vaccinated and you will have to respect that decision. 

2. Communicate With Professionals Who Have Experience

One of the ways communities are educating their members about the senior living Covid-19 vaccine is by holding town hall videoconferencing sessions for residents and families, as seen with Juniper Communities. This virtual town hall format provides a platform through which residents and their families can have their concerns addressed by professionals who administer flu vaccines annually.   
Many communities are updating their residents’ families through emails, blogs and letters to provide more information on the vaccination process, as well as obtain the consent needed to participate in vaccination clinics. This has played a key role in helping families feel more confident that the community is being diligent in protecting their loved ones against the virus.

3. Provide Helpful Resources for Residents and Families

It’s important to remind those who have express their doubts that the vaccine has gone through testing and clinical trials to ensure it meets the highest safety standards. You can also provide them links to the CDC website where they can get additional information about it. Any additional articles and resources you can find from authoritative sources can only strengthen the case for getting vaccinated. Be sure to share these with your community to ensure staff, residents and family members are as informed and up-to-date with the latest senior living Covid-19 vaccine news as possible.
You may also consider creating a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page about the senior living Covid-19 vaccine on your community’s website. This type of content allows you to answer the most common questions related to the vaccine and minimize the phone calls or emails from concerned residents and family members. You can repurpose the information provided in your FAQs page for emails, videos and social media posts.  

More than likely, we are still a considerable distance away from things beginning to feel “normal” again. But as we work toward that end, doing everything possible to keep communities safe — from having the necessary health guidelines in place, to vaccinating the majority of residents and staff — is of the utmost important for senior living communities.  

How has the Covid-19 vaccination process at your community gone so far? Tweet at us or leave us a message on LinkedIn to let us know! 

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