By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Senior Manager, Program Development and Outreach
Today’s Front Line Hero is Ecumen, which quickly designed an innovative program called “Stay Connected” to help residents and family members remain in contact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ecumen provides senior housing and other services for thousands of residents at 40-plus communities across eight states. Ecumen has implemented necessary protocols to protect residents at every site during the COVID-19 outbreak, including visitor restrictions. In addition to keeping residents physically healthy, Ecumen wants to ensure that their social and emotional needs are also met, and crafted their Stay Connected program to keep the seniors in contact with their loved ones.
As part of the Stay Connected program, Ecumen distributed iPad tablets to any communities that did not already have them, and established sanitizing protocol for iPad use. The Ecumen staff also created a centralized chat schedule so families could easily select convenient times to connect with their loved ones online, freeing up staff to focus on care. The team announced the program by email and invited family members and social workers to participate, and included links to schedule their video chat.
The Stay Connected program was an immediate success, with 75 video chats scheduled in the first week, including family members from around the world who were excited to connect with their loved ones. The residents have loved seeing their family members! A face mask cannot hide the smiles, laughter, and joy being shared daily.
A big thank you to Ecumen for your focus on the needs of residents and families while also promoting health and safety!