Pilot project provides digital connection to older residents of Summit County

The local agency on aging is piloting a program to provide devices and Internet access to older people. The goal is to reduce social isolation and help people stay in touch with their loved ones and caregivers.

Direction Home COO Abby Morgan described the program today to the Summit County Nursing Home Task Force. Morgan says so far they have made 37 devices available to community members living alone.

“We’re really trying, through this pilot, to identify how people want to connect while staying safe and staying at home for those who need it.”

Morgan says Direction Home hopes to expand the program, providing devices and resources to people living in nursing homes.

She says participants can access classes to promote wellness, like Tai Chi, and personal development like drawing and journaling.

Federal CARES Act funding helped support the program.

Task Force Member Stephanie Chambers will also be blogging next month to help people navigate nursing home care.

And the task force is considering a plan to train nursing home staff on how to provide better customer service.

Direction Home Care Quality Improvement Coordinator Julie Esack shared a project proposal regarding customer service at these facilities.

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Direction Home Care Quality Improvement Coordinator Julie Esack explains the project.

“In developing a culture of customer service, it would be necessary to have open and honest communication with families, residents and employees. Employees would be more engaged, more empowered and more likely to advocate for their patients. “

The customer service project will target five areas: the admissions process, culinary experiences, the nursing home environment, the emotional needs of patients, and staff engagement.

The Nursing Home Task Force was launched ten months ago with the aim of improving care after a now-closed facility in Copley was reported as one of the worst in the country.


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