This is the second installment in our series of blogs highlighting the work of our providers as they tackle the challenges presented by COVID-19.
MARC, Inc. and MidState Arc have focused on a few key actions to prepare for and address the unique challenges of our current situation.
- Be nimble and flexible: Everything is changing day-by-day, depending on the new regulations are coming through. They have a lot of technology, so it works out well for them. Technology wise, they are in a really good position to be able to operate.
- Keep staff by temporarily switching roles: In Connecticut, all day programs were shut down as of 3/19. Since MARC has a large day program, they were able to shift their day program staff as backup for group homes to provide residential staff with much needed breaks.
- Provide services virtually: MARC has provided their staff with Zoom accounts. With permissions from the family, staff are utilizing video conferences to check in on their individuals and to do interactive activities that are taking the place of day programs.
- The job hunt is still on: Supported employment is still happening. Staff are still providing work skills, mock interviews, resume help – through their computers, tablets, or telephones.
- Staying connected with frequent check-ins: MARC, Inc. staff are making phone calls to individuals just to ask – “how are you doing? how are you feeling?” etc.
- Increase cleaning and cancelled visitation: Staff are cleaning and sanitizing more often. There is no visitation in the homes to prevent spread of the disease.
“Despite this pandemic, the goal remains the same, provide the best supports for our individuals.”
- Expand to online course opportunities: The MidState Arc is offering wellness classes, such as yoga and meditation, virtually for staff and individuals.
- Purchase technology to stay connected: MidState Arc has purchased tablets to utilize the Claris companion app for video calling. They are adding family members and staff to each portal so that individuals can communicate with their families at any time, and vice versa.
- Preparing remote monitoring for a worst-case scenario: They have added cameras in the home that we would be utilized under extreme staff shortage.
About MARC, Inc:
MARC, Inc. provides the opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live meaningful lives of independence, choice, inclusion, and continuous personal growth. Learn more here.
About MidState Arc:
MidState Arc has been supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1952. We’ve been influential in the national Arc movement, collaborating with other Arc chapters to innovate and shape how we support people with IDD. Learn more here.
Share your experience!
We know there’s a lot of great work happening across our Provider communities to stay connected and deliver critical services and supports during this pandemic. Do you have a story or tips to share? Let us know!