SPRINGFIELD — As the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact the community, WestMass ElderCare (WMEC) is committed to protecting the health and safety of its consumers, their caregivers, and staff. It continues to provide our essential services every day to safeguard those who are most vulnerable in the community, modifying its service methods as needed to ensure that it is doing so in the safest possible way.
Although its office is closed to visitors in keeping with public-health advisories, WMEC staff are available by phone, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and have continued to take new referrals and clients daily. The organization is actively responding to the needs of clients and delivering services in the safest way possible throughout this evolving situation.
For example, its Meals on Wheels program has begun services to more than 400 new clients since the COVID-19 outbreak began. The nutrition staff and delivery drivers wear masks and gloves and follow strict social-distancing protocols to protect their health and that of our consumers.
In addition, WMEC care managers provide frequent phone support and check-ins with all program consumers to respond to their needs, while WMEC nursing staff conduct assessments by phone to closely monitor consumers’ physical and mental health.
Many in-home services have been altered to ‘contactless’ methods (such as laundry and grocery pickups and dropoffs). All direct-care staff are trained and are using precautions and protective equipment when in-person services are required.
As always, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and help flatten the curve, WMEC advises all community members to follow the guidance of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention throughout the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak.
WMEC is available to answer questions, listen to concerns, and provide the services needed now and in the future. To access these resources, call (413) 538-9020 or e-mail info@wmeldercare.