Consumer engagement during COVID

Consumer engagement during COVID

As the COVID pandemic has unfolded, the focus has increasingly been on the wellbeing of people living in residential care or receiving care at home. Aged care services here and overseas have been finding a broad range of virtual and low-tech ways to help people living at home and in residential care to connect with services, their families, and their communities.

However, consumer engagement is not just about social connections and wellbeing. It is about how people are involved in care services as partners.

People have a right to be engaged in discussions and decision making that impact them. This hasn’t changed because there’s a pandemic.

The principles of good engagement – and of partnership – haven’t changed either. All that have changed are the issues that are being discussed and the constraints and challenges that need to be negotiated.

In an emergency, when drastic action needs to be taken, providers are trying to respond in a hurry. There are significant constraints, stress, and pressure. The stakes are high. There are also fears and concerns of staff and consumers, families, and communities that we need to allow to be heard and acknowledged.

However, effective engagement is an opportunity to manage risks, find solutions, and open new spaces for communication.

You can read more about using engagement to respond more creatively in our articles in Australian Ageing Agenda here and here.

On this page COTA Queensland and Carrie Hayter Consulting will be sharing some tips and ideas to get you started. Check back on this page or sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date.

We also know there is a lot of great work going on out there. We want to hear your experiences, tips, and ideas. We invite you to share them with us here to help support your colleagues across the sector to look at things differently.

Looking for some more specific or tailored help? Click here for more information on how we can work with your organisation or contact us now on (07) 3316 2999.