Mercy Care visits clients for wellness checks, puts reopening plans on hold

Mercy Care of Rome staff Brenda Harris and Ratisha Wells check the blood pressure of Katie Brewster outside her home in July 2020.

Going into 2021, Mercy Care of Rome is looking toward a few updates when they reopen their doors to the public — but for the time being they’ve been hosting virtual programs for their clients.

The nonprofit serves the elderly community in Rome as an adult day health program where people can meet and socialize. Mercy Care also provides health care, mental health care and other services.

Ever since closing their main facility to the public when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, they have had to come up with creative ways to serve their clients. This started with delivering meals and groceries alongside bringing at-home activities to keep them engaged.

Now they have been able to host virtual adult day health programs, where clients call in and participate in virtual bingo, trivia and just have general social hour.

“We’ve taken one activity and added another and another and we’ve been doing very well with that,” Executive Director Liz Molina said. “We have about eight or nine on the calls and we’re on the phone from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.”

She said she has been impressed with how well their clients have been able to adapt to using the technology and picking up on the software quickly.

“They’re talking to each other and saying they miss each other,” she said.

Using their new software, Molina said they’re going to be launching other health-oriented programs, such as meditation and yoga (specifically to help with arthritis) for clients to follow.

Going into 2021, they plan to open a meditation garden, using money from a grant they received from the Northwest Georgia Area Agency on Aging. They’ve ordered a gazebo for the garden, as well as several benches and a birdbath.

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