Keeping an Extra Set of Eyes on Vulnerable Seniors During Omicron

February 14, 2022

Be Prepared


I’ve heard these two words a lot over the last few weeks as the inevitable spread of Omicron has been publicly acknowledged and modelers have started to put some estimates around case numbers and other more important numbers such as hospitalisations.


A lot of commentators have debated NZ’s readiness for Omicron but regardless of what side you are on, the common message is we should all be prepared to get Omicron.


There is no shortage of people prepared to share their experience from overseas, spawning an entire genre of “what I wish I knew before I got Omicron” articles. Accompanying these articles is often a checklist and on these checklists are a range of things for people to consider. I’ve found these quite useful, pushing me to make contingency plans should I need to self-isolate.


Safety and Welfare


Retirement villages are no exception. planning to ensure the safety and welfare of residents and staff when someone in the village get’s Omicron. From a health perspective the government has assured us that most people will be able to recover fully at home with only light support from either their GP or Healthline.


Older people that are more vulnerable should be checked on more frequently. However, during the Delta outbreak there were several examples where people felt the level of care received at home was not sufficient to make them feel safe.


Pressure on Healthline and GPs


Some people now feel concerned when Omicron puts the health system under even greater pressure, vulnerable people at home might not get the level of attention from the public health system that their family would want.


At Qestral retirement villages around New Zealand the operators are taking extra steps to manage any independent residents who test positive from COVID. Not only will they receive basic care from the public system, but residents will also be able to record their blood oxygen and temperature on a personalised touchscreen that is monitored by Qestral staff members. They will also be able to get video consultations to monitor their recovery.


In a NZ first, this information will also be made available in real-time to approved family members who will be able to keep yet another set of eyes on them during their recovery. This level of care is made possible by Qestral installing Spritely in every independent house and Spritely releasing their new companion app to link residents through to family members.  


Belt & Braces


Being prepared is about having the systems in place to offer extra layers of care when you need them. The belt and braces approach from Qestral should be applauded.


For anyone living outside a retirement village, it is now possible to register for preorders of Spritely’s new community product. Our health and welfare monitoring kit makes it easy for family members to keep an extra set of eyes on loved ones living alone at home anywhere in NZ.


Omicron or not, it’s great to keep in regular visual contact and engage with the health of your loved ones. From medication to blood pressure, Spritely offers peace of mind for worried families.