So you’ve decided that your nursing home and some of your residents would really benefit from having a Grandpal to come in to visit them. Great! You’re probably thinking that it’s now time to get your nursing home set up with Grandpal as soon as possible and you want to get some visits underway.

Although we all want to start as soon as possible, providing a complete onboarding process is crucial for the success of the new Grandpal initiative you’re launching to improve the lives of your residents and your nursing home staff members.

Because the idea of Grandpal is a relatively new phenomenon, it’s very easy to ignore the onboarding process entirely resulting in confusion and little hiccups.

Hence, it's important to spend time onboarding your Grandpal volunteers. Onboarding isn't just about telling your Grandpals who they will be visiting - it's about connecting them with their resident and helping them understand who they are. When the onboarding process is completed correctly, it builds loyalty, helping your Grandpals feel like they are part of your nursing home community from the beginning and decreasing your turnover rate.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ONBOARDING YOUR GRANDPALS

When volunteers start with you, they are naturally nervous. Maybe they have experience in volunteering roles, but in new settings, it’s only normal that someone might feel a little anxious. You want them to feel as comfortable as possible, as soon as possible so they really get a great first impression of the role as a Grandpal with you and the resident they have been assigned with.

It’s important that the Grandpals feel comfortable and safe at all times and that they know if they need help or advice, that they can come to you to find it.

CONTEXT ON THE RESIDENT THEY HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO

Conversations that are backed up with context go way smoother than without, for anyone, at any age. By giving your Grandpal a good background story on the resident they are coming to visit, it encourages natural conversations, about subjects your residents know and loves to talk about. It’s also important for your Grandpals to know why their resident has moved into your Nursing Home instead of leaving them second-guessing. CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

When you set clear expectations, you make sure that your Grandpal knows exactly the kind of person their resident is and won’t be surprised by their quirky personalities. Everyone is unique and if the Grandpal knows what to expect, they can be better prepared for the unexpected.

INCREASED EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Employee engagement is one of the top contributors to the success of Grandpal. Make sure your Nursing Home staff know about your Grandpals, the locals who give an hour of their time to spend with their assigned residents each week. Grandpal not only greatly benefits the residents but also adds to the culture and happiness of your staff. Our Grandpals are full of positively which rubs off on everyone around them.

Happy organizations retain great employees. It is the same with volunteers. By introducing your Grandpals to your care assistants, nurses and other staff members that they will see on their visits, you create a friendly environment for everyone.

ONBOARDING PROCESS

When it comes to planning your onboarding process, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Grandpal simplifies the recruitment, vetting and onboarding for you.

1. RECRUITMENT PROCESS (GRANDPAL WILL MANAGE THIS ON YOUR BEHALF)

Grandpal helps nursing homes and family members find a local Grandpal to visit who will provide companionship to a resident in a local Nursing Home. We get the word out to the community and we find the perfect candidates. Once individuals have signed up, we complete a phone call with them and screen for suitability. When we find a good match, we put them in touch with you for a final interview. This can be done face to face or over the phone if more convenient.

2. VETTING PROCESS

Once Grandpal finds a good fit for your nursing home and a resident you’ve got in mind, we start the vetting process. Together with your new Grandpal, we fill out the NBV-1 Garda Vetting form, ready for you to print and sign when meeting the Grandpal face to face.

The Nursing Home is still responsible for running the final background check and checking the provided documents such as photo ID and proof of address, in accordance with HIQAs regulations. Grandpal speeds up this process by having everything ready to go.

3. GRANDPAL VOLUNTEER AGREEMENTS (GRANDPAL WILL MANAGE THIS ON YOUR BEHALF)

Taking the pain out of the paperwork. We’ve prepared standard volunteer agreements for your Nursing Home and your Grandplals. We make them super easy to read and sign and find if you ever need to get your hands on them again.

4. TRAINING (GRANDPAL WILL MANAGE THIS ON YOUR BEHALF)

Grandpal offers some very high-level learnings for your Grandpals to get up to speed with what on topics such as Safe Guarding for Vulnerable Adults, Understanding Dementia and more. For more specific onsite training or hands-on training such as manual handling, we ask nursing homes to provide training modules.

5. SCHEDULING AND LOGGING (GRANDPAL WILL MANAGE THIS ON YOUR BEHALF)

Gone are the days of not knowing when your volunteers are coming in next or how they got on with their last visits.

Grandpal has built an easy to use app for your Grandpals to schedule the next visits. Your Nursing Home now has a calendar view of these visits.

After each visit, we ask the Grandpals to Log their visits. This gives Nursing Homes and Family Members a good insight into how a visit has gone. It takes the Grandpal about 15 seconds to log a visit, so it’s the perfect short snippet of information to give you an idea of how it went.

As you know, in the nursing world if it’s not written down, it hasn’t happened. Having a digital audit trail of all the additional activities that are going on in your facility is a big plus.