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NKY organization strives to keep group home residents safe, engaged during isolation

Posted at 7:46 PM, Apr 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 23:17:05-04

COVINGTON, Ky. — The Point Arc of Northern Kentucky serves those living with intellectual and physical disabilities. Amid COVID-19 social distancing requirements, the organization has had to alter how caretakers serve residents who live in group homes run by the organization.

Typically, Point Arc direct support professionals worked in shifts to care for the residents, performing tasks like feeding and bathing the residents. Since employees can no longer safely come and go from the group home, ten Point Arc workers have volunteered to move in to the group homes and quarantine alongside residents.

"It's a huge commitment," said Teri Angel, registered nurse and executive director of The Point Arc of Northern Kentucky. "We're asking them to stay away from their own families. They missed Easter."

In addition to their regular duties, employees are also working to help keep residents entertained during isolation while easing some of the anxieties and concerns that come with the pandemic. The organization has also made huge changes in order to limit exposure for residents who have medical issues, and are at a greater risk if they become sick with COVID-19.

Employees now disinfect the homes and groceries that come in, while working around the clock.

"Whatever we can do to make them have the best possible day, then that's what we're going to do," said Tracie Griess, a direct support professional with The Point Arc of Northern Kentucky.

Griess and the other workers who volunteered have been living in the group homes since the beginning of April.

"I just knew that it was something that I had to do and I don't regret that decision one bit," said Griess.

The organization isn't certain yet when things will be able to go back to normal for their workers and residents, but it's closely following Gov. Andy Beshear's guidelines as more information about isolation rules becomes available.