Stories of Stepping Up
Everyday before the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff and community at St. Joseph Home were planning, adapting, and moving forward through the challenges life with disability can present. Now, they’re doing much the same – just in new circumstances. We hope these stories of our team can encourage you to keep moving forward as well through this time, together.
Family Connection at St. Joseph Home
Monday March 30th, 2020 12:45 PM
On March 11th, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health issued a mandate in response to COVID-19 prohibiting all visitors to long-term living facilities like ours. Excruciatingly, this includes family members and guardians.
The families of our 48 residents are just as much a part of the St. Joseph Home community as the residents themselves. Our mission to care for the individual and the family, together, extends into our everyday operations. We’re here to support as much family engagement as possible – and the recent mandate didn’t change that.
Within hours of the order, our staff had setup new, alternative ways for families to stay connected with each other through the lockdown. Adapters purchased for each cottage now allow residents to video conference through the living room TV – making it easier to stay engaged on longer calls.
Some family members, like Heddy and Joey, have amended their daily visits into daily FaceTime calls through wheelchair mounted iPads.
“Joey and Heddy are so connected,” said Jean Shannon, PT. Heddy is Joey’s grandmother and usually visits him every day – taking walks together, reading, laughing and talking.
“I was in the cottage with Joey, and he’d just been so quiet- but then Heddy called. It took only a few seconds, and as Heddy was telling Joey “I love you, I love you,” over and over, Joey’s face lit up and he turned towards the screen to see her.”
Team managers and QIDPs have connected with guardians and family members to setup personalized communication plans – adapting each case by how often, when, and how they’d like to talk.
While we’re thankful for technology and the ability to stay connected remotely, we’re all eagerly looking forward to the days when our volunteers, visitors and ever-important family members are welcomed back to our campus.
Glimpses of Hope from our Staff
Friday March 20th, 2020 9:00 AM
Dear St. Joseph Home Community,
As you all know, we are in the midst of a very unique time for our communities as we attempt to #flattenthecurve of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have all been inundated with informative messages of preparation and action. These are important messages and we are taking them seriously by following all relevant guidance from the local, state and federal authorities.
I thought, however, we could begin to shed light on a different, more positive, side of this situation by sharing stories of what’s going on here at St. Joseph Home.
From the first time I visited St. Joseph Home, long before I was an employee here, several words could’ve been used to describe what happens here every day. Words like care, joy, creativity, passion, commitment, attention to detail and love. These are the legacies given to us by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, and they have been the hallmarks of St. Joseph Home for its 146 years.
What I have seen, and what I want to share with you, is that this foundation that is serving us well and will carry us through this, and every season. In many ways, our staff are just flexing the same muscles that they use every day in caring for the individuals we serve; they are just applying them differently.
So while there are many adjustments we’ve had to make, I also want you to know that in the last week I have seen our amazing staff do what they have done since the first time I came to St. Joseph Home. Let me briefly share a couple examples:
- Our care staff showed their commitment, passion and creativity by juggling school closings and creating alternate plans for their families so they could still be available to care for residents.
- When our Day Program and Respite programs closed abruptly, our teams worked to re-purpose the affected staff so that they would continue to have work and help in other areas. This planning allowed for no one to lose their job, despite the revenue for those programs stopping.
I could go on, but you get the picture. Are we struggling? Yes, honestly in about every way, and we know so many in our communities are struggling. I, however, want you to know that we are still running, perhaps more than ever, on that care, joy, passion, attention to detail and most of all love. Over the coming weeks, we will are going to be sharing some short stories of the positives that are going on as we move through this situation. Just short, positive examples of the good that is going on.
Thank you so much for being a part of this great community. Be praying for us, and we will be praying for you as we get through this together.
Dan Connors, CEO & President