“Safe and well” sounds so positive. “Isolation and physical distancing” sounds so cold. These phrases have become such a common part of our speech now. Glenwood’s staff has been working hard from day one to ensure that those in our care are healthy and happy. These uncertain times are particularly challenging for people living with autism and other mental and emotional health concerns. Their well-being is our number one priority.
Please read below for an update on how the individuals served by Glenwood and staff are doing during unsettling times.
Covid-19 Update August 2020
Residential care: Glenwood serves 125 children and adults in 30 homes. They will remain in isolation at least through July. Managers and direct support professionals have been creative in minimizing potential exposure to the coronavirus and providing activities to make it easier to endure. Friends have provided extra supplies such as arts and crafts for use. Staff have provided ways for the outdoors and common areas to be used safely. Families have missed their home visits, yet understand and are thankful their loved ones have been kept safe.
Schools: Teachers and aides have worked with in-home staff to provide packets and use technology to continue learning in the homes. Allan Cott School for children with autism and Lakeview School for boys with severe emotional and behavioral disorders plan to open in August. It was fun to see the students call out to their teachers at our first COVID-19 Parade. Spectators from all 30 homes participated.
Outpatient Services: After a break, some services resumed via tele-health. They are now open for evaluations, diagnosis, therapy and counseling services. The Children’s Center has re-opened.
Adult Services: Our day programs for adults – most of whom live in homes we manage on campus or in the community – are not able to open yet, which means more staff and more creativity are needed in the homes. We have been able to allow some “fresh air” visits with precautions.
How Are We Doing? We’re proud of the way the direct support professionals have taken care of the individuals during these trying times. Everyone’s wellness has been a top priority, and the entire organization has worked together to do a great job in keeping everyone well.
Financial Impact: Expenses are up, and income is down. Time spent in the homes has increased which means increased staff time and additional supplies for physical AND mental health. The suspended programs and decrease in some services means a loss in revenue for us. The exact amount changes weekly, and it’s hard to predict where this will land because we’ve never been in a pandemic like COVID-19 before.
Future Events: Planning for events continues to present a challenge. The Ireland Legacy Golf Tournament was rescheduled from May to September 28. Teams are sold out, but hole sponsorships are still available. We’ve set the date for Big Top for February 19, 2021. We continue to monitor COVID and non-profit best practices as we decide how to proceed with in-person events, which are an important part of our fundraising efforts. We will look for creative ways to raise additional funds to support our mission.
Save the Date: One thing that we are certain about is our Pecan Sale! Mark your calendars for the end of October when the online pecan shop will open. They also make great corporate and personal gifts. Contact Shanda Daniel at 205-795-3353 to learn more.
Moving Forward! Glenwood is better and stronger, and we look forward to continuing to give loving and professional care to those with autism and other mental and emotional health concerns in our new normal. Thanks to a caring community, Glenwood continues to pivot to make the best of trying times.