The Connecticut Hospice Serves with Humanity During COVID-19

Helping Loved Ones Say Good Bye During Quarantine

COVID-19 forced The Connecticut Hospice to stop all bedside visits, a painful decision for people wanting to say their final good byes to family members. So the Branford-based nonprofit adapted to make the family visits happen in a way that is safe for the families, staff and patients. A staff person has been hired for the sole duty of wheeling patients from their rooms to the cafeteria, where they can see visitors through a glass wall. Another staff person is dedicated to setting up FaceTime calls for patients.

Connecticut Hospice is licensed as an acute care facility, so it is also dedicating an entire wing for accepting overflow patients that Yale New Haven Hospital is moving in order to make room for the anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients. This has put Connecticut Hospice in the position of needing to ramp up its medical staffing. When added to the increase in maintenance and cleaning costs along with ordering needed personal protection supplies for staff at skyrocketing prices, the nonprofit is feeling a severe financial crunch.

“We bought scrubs for all executive staff because we don’t know how virus travels,” said Barbara Pearce. “We are feeding all staff, including doctors, which we don’t normally do. But we don’t want them going out for food; we’d rather have them go outside for a walk instead. All of these things have costs but in the end it saves lives.”

CT Hospice is not unique in adjusting its provision of services and incurring extra expenses against already thin budgets. Nonprofits that provide 24/7 residential care services are needing to increase staff time and acquire more protective equipment. They are also concerned about maintaining mandated staffing ratios, due to staff who may fall ill themselves or who have children or other family members they need to care for now that schools and other service providers are closed.

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.