Since the closure of the McCormick Day Program back in March, we have been forced to re-think how we offer our caregiver education and support services, and how we deliver meaningful recreation programming to our clients and their caregivers. In many ways, this pandemic has offered us the opportunity to be creative and offer our services in new and unique ways. You can learn more about our virtual program options in this latest issue of Dimensions. We definitely have not slowed down as we continue to dream up new ways to deliver support to our clients and caregivers in the community.
Our staff have maintained close contact with our clients and caregivers, and through a structured risk-assessment process have determined those in highest need at this time who require day program access. On June 22, 2020, we were thrilled to open our day program to a very small number of higher-needs clients each week. Although it has been a limited opening, it has been wonderful to see some familiar faces. I know that our staff have also been overjoyed to be able to reconnect with people, even if it is on a more modest scale.
The limited-client capacity allows us the opportunity to gain experience in providing a new type of urgent service—including the use of Personal Protective Equipment when working with clients (masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, eye goggles), and maintaining a new strict standard of Infection Prevention and Control cleaning practices, such as regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces and thoroughly disinfecting entire rooms after each client visit. As we move through this stage and in close consultation with health officials, we are gradually increasing the number of people we can safely bring through our doors. For the health and safety of our clients, caregivers, and staff, it is a process that must be done slowly and with extreme care.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
Karen Johnson is the Director of McCormick Dementia Services.