This special issue of our monthly eNewsletter highlights the current status of DakotAbilities in regard to COVID-1. It covers what we need as well as what we are celebrating. We know that at this time it is not possible for many to donate. This issue is in response to those that ask, "What can I do to help?". Thank you for being part of our DakotAbilities family!
Help Us Stay Safe and Sanitized
You have no doubt read about the shortages of personal protective items. Six months ago we had no way of predicting the need for surgical and N95 masks or that we would need to have a good supply of surgical gowns on hand, let alone budgeting for them. Greater quantities of cleaning supplies for all of the homes was also unexpected. Everything from detergent to disinfectants, soaps to sanitizers, and paper towels to plastic cups are all ordered on a regular basis.
If you are able to help us please click on the above collage. Thank you!
Celebrate Good Things With Us!
53 Days and Counting
That is how long the individuals supported by DakotAbilities have been in isolation. That does not make us unique by any means. Everyone is affected by COVID-19 somehow. We are entrusted to the care of our state's most vulnerable people and this virus has heightened our awareness of our responsiblity to them.
Because of that responsibility, we are implementing several measures for everyone's safety. All staff must take their temperature at the beginning and the end of every shift. Residential staff must wear a face mask at all times throughout the day. The homes are disinfected several times each day.
Their vigilance is paying off. As of today, not one person served by DakotAbilities has contracted the virus.
Isolated Alone Together
Our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are angels. They are making this time fun and productive at every residential setting. They are also making it memorable. When life goes back to whatever normal will be, the people we support will look back on their isolation as a time of fun comeraderie and learning new skills.
One warm weather lesson is that it is not possible to have too much sidewalk art. With the nicer weather people are finding planting flowers on their porches is adding color to their home and to their world. Walks around the block or just sitting in the sun are welcome changes. Silly String lives up to its name.
The DSP's as well as peers make sure every birthday is a huge celebration. Jackie had a special cake and decorations.
Another person, Char, received cards from family and friends, flowers, and phone calls. She took a ride around town in a van that had a sign 'Today I am 76!" She received a lot of thumbs up and car honking.
Making the Days Sweeter
There is really no bad time to bake cookies. Some individuals are learning baking as another step toward greater independence. Others are showing off skills they already have. Millie is an old hand at whipping up a batch and enjoyed sharing her warm cookies with the rest of the house.
Right now our nurses are more appreciated than ever. The level of care they provide for every person we serve does not diminish despite the additional care they need to provide to themselves. National Nurses Week could not come at a better time!
The Apple of Our Eye
The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation took action immediately when COVID-19 hit town. The Foundation provided Apple iPads for each of our homes so every person supported has a way to contact their friends and family. They are also being used for educational programs, videos, and entertainment.
Homemade Face Masks
We put out a request for homemade masks to protect staff. Fifteen people (some were staff) immediately got busy and provided us with hundreds of masks. These donations are significant since all residential staff are required to wear them during their shifts.
Hopefully, You Are Finding Some Good
Has this time of COVID-19 handed you any unexpected gifts? If so, please share by clicking on the ribbon! Maybe you have seen a type of bird you never have before. Or perhaps you heard from a friend you have not talked to in years.
We hope you and yours are well and receiving a trove of unexpected gifts. Be well!
Working together, we create opportunities and meaningful lives for people with disabilities