Date: June 26, 2020 | Category: News
A note from Diana Hoemann, Executive Director
We recently published the Care Connection Annual Report for the 2019 fiscal year.
In the report, you will see that we have provided services to more than 10,000 older adults and their caregivers. We reached them with more than a half million meals delivered to their homes and served in our dining rooms – plus provided a wide range of exercise and wellness classes, Medicare counseling, tax services, benefits application assistance and more. I encourage you to spend a few moments perusing the services outlined in the report.
What this report doesn’t reflect is the huge transformation our agency has made since mid-March 2020. That’s when we suspended in-person services. Our decision was guided by the Centers for Disease Control recommendations that have consistently put people 60 and older in the highest risk group for suffering the worst if they contract COVID-19.
While we suspended face-to-face operations, we never stopped serving adults 60 and older and their caregivers. We added folks to our home-delivered meal routes and began to encourage people to pick up hot lunches curbside at our centers. Our Care Management team members never stopped answering the phones or reaching out to folks who needed attention and services. Our Health and Wellness team quickly began switching to online formats such as Zoom and Facebook Live to provide programming such as Tai Chi, exercise for seniors, information on Medicare, advanced care planning and more. We created a weekly “just for fun” newsletter “Cabin Fever Cures” that includes brain teasers, word finds, crafts and recipes. Our regional ombudsman fielded hundreds of phone calls from nursing home residents and their loved ones while long-term care facilities are closed to visitors. We leveraged federal and state resources and avoided layoffs or furloughs.
All the while, our safety chief has been following COVID-19 trends and gathering the supplies needed to eventually open the center dining rooms. Our center staff members have been deep cleaning as well as completing small and large remodeling projects. We still do not know when our centers will be open for in-person dining or services. However, we assure you we will continue to serve people 60 and older as we provide opportunities to create positive aging experiences.