With closures, visitation regulations and uncertainty plaguing comfort care homes, House of John in Clifton Springs continues to keep its doors open for patients facing end-of-life care and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the beginning of March 2020, Kathy Barrick, Executive Director, and Caroline Baker-Drake, Care Coordinator, attended an informational meeting with University of Rochester’s Hospice Director for Comfort Care Homes in order to formulate a plan to keep patients, families, staff and volunteers safe. With a modified approach, House of John stayed open when the majority of comfort care homes closed. Modified regulations included having only one patient at a time, limiting visitors to three loved ones, requiring masks for staff and volunteers, increasing sanitation and reducing the number of volunteers coming into the house. Putting these safety measures into place allowed families to visit their loved one, which they would not have been able to do in a nursing home or hospital, which they were extremely grateful for.
“It’s important that we work together with our community to keep each other safe,” Kathy Barrick, Executive Director said. “It is equally important that we stay true to our calling. With our current staffing a small core group of volunteers, HOJ doors have been able to remain open safely.”
House of John staff and volunteers helped 22 patients and their families in 2020 and continue to care for more people as 2021 begins. With both beds open in previous years, House of John usually welcomed 30-34 patients, so staff feel blessed to have been able to care for as many as 22 people in 2020. Staff and volunteers look forward to helping more people in the community and assisting other comfort care homes in developing reopening plans.
House of John is located at 14 Spring Street in Clifton Springs, NY. We open our house, our hearts, and our hands to those who need physical care, emotional support and spiritual sustenance as they approach the end of their lives. More information about our services can be found online at www.houseofjohn.org.
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