Supply shortages are making it difficult to find certain items that are crucial to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Besides hospitals desperately needing personal protective equipment, local nursing homes and assisted living facilities are trying their best to keep up with the demand.
Karyn Fleetwood, executive director of Lutheran Community Home in Seymour, said they have an emergency supply they keep on hand.
“In case there is an outbreak of some sort, whether it be influenza or something like that, we did have a little bit of a stockpile,” Fleetwood said. “But we are rapidly getting into that stockpile, so I would say the things that could be a challenge for us right now are obviously the face masks.”
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Members of the community are sewing cloth masks for the staff members, but hand sanitizer and thermometers are hard to come by.
“We like to use the no-touch thermometers, and those are back ordered currently through our typical suppliers,” Fleetwood said. “What we’re doing is we are working with our normal suppliers, local and on a larger scale.”
Fleetwood said they also are looking in local stores for those supplies and using different companies to make sure they have an adequate supply.
“We would welcome anything the community would want to donate, which would probably be those top three items that I mentioned,” she said. “We’re also working with our health department, who is aware of our needs and is working with us to get some additional supplies, as well.”
Another challenge is residents are restricted from visitation, so they are being connected to family members via FaceTime and Google Hangout.
Fleetwood said if anyone would like to send cards or letters to residents, they would really enjoy that.
“People could drop those off at the vestibule, where someone at the front desk would see them,” she said. “It wouldn’t need to be addressed to any specific person, and then we could see that it’s distributed.”
Fleetwood said they always appreciate the community support and encouragement and all of the prayers for everyone through this time.
Angie Short, executive director of Covered Bridge Health Campus in Seymour, said they are in pretty good shape at the moment with supplies.
However, donations of personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizer and face masks, would gladly be accepted from the community to prevent them from running out.
At Seymour Crossing, April Rohde, clinical education coordinator, said they also have a need for any personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer and masks.
“As for the residents themselves, they are really missing their soda pop and snacks,” Rohde said. “The vendor cannot come in and restock the machines, as he would be of great danger to them, and families cannot come by and drop them off, either.”
Rohde said if any distributors could possibly step up and donate soda and snacks, like potato chips and snack cakes, the residents would be so happy.
Lisa Stark, community relations manager for Seymour Place, said they are doing well right now in regards to necessary supplies.
“We just can’t have our groups right now because we are social distancing, which is in line with the CDC, so our folks are just getting a little bored since they can’t have visitors,” she said.
Stark said if the residents could receive cards or letters during this time, that would be really helpful.
Krista Garrison, administrator for Hoosier Christian Village in Brownstown, said they are tracking their inventory supply very closely.
“Our fear is not necessarily what we have right now, but when it comes a time we have to utilize our PPE, how will we get additional PPE because you can’t order anything,” she said. “We have been in contact with the local health department, and they have us on a list, and we are turning our inventory in to the Indiana State Board of Health, as well.”
She said right now, they’ve had a really nice outpouring of homemade masks, and volunteers have delivered those, some N95 masks and other PPE.
“We are now just asking people to send cards to our residents, and we’ve had a lot of visitors outside our windows and those sorts of things,” Garrison said. “We’ve had some iPads donated from Vallonia Christian Church, too, so the residents are able to FaceTime with family members, and that’s been really helpful.”
Hoosier Christian Village is accepting homemade hearts from the community to be hung in the windows of their residents’ rooms.
The community is welcome to send cards or letters to any of the retirement communities, nursing homes or assisted living facilities. If sending to a specific resident, include that in the message.
Words of encouragement — and maybe even a soda or a snack — go a long way right now and can help bring joy to others.
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Covered Bridge Health Campus, 1675 W. Tipton St., Seymour, IN 47274
Hoosier Christian Village, 621 S. Sugar St., Brownstown, IN 47220
Lutheran Community Home, 111 Church Ave., Seymour, IN 47274
Seymour Crossing, 707 S. Jackson Park Drive, Seymour, IN 47274
Seymour Place, 2288 Nicholas Court, Seymour, IN 47274