Resident Newsletters: Good Idea or Disasters Waiting to Happen?

table with newsletter, eyeglasses and coffee cup

By: John Ruffier

Senior Housing News recently reported about a resident newsletter at a Yonkers, New York, community that has garnered national and international attention.

Frustrated with what she viewed as a lack of transparency from her community’s leadership team to residents about COVID-19 and other matters, a resident took matters into her own hands by publishing a newsletter (“The Buzz”) with listings of resident hospitalizations and deaths, as well as puzzles, poetry and other items submitted by her fellow residents.

While HIPPA regulations prohibit facilities from sharing medical information such as the COVID status of residents (regulations that do not bind residents), the story underscores the desire of residents to know “what is going on” at their community and the importance of facilities to communicate regularly with residents and to share as much information as is allowed – as well as why some information cannot be shared.

Otherwise, the facility may find itself on the receiving end of some bad “Buzz”.

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