As the novel coronavirus took hold in our community in mid-March, Gilchrist rapidly responded to the pandemic to ensure our patients and families could continue safely receiving vital end-of-life care and support.
Our dedicated caregivers rose to the challenge. They donned their protective equipment and continued providing essential care to more than 1,000 seriously ill individuals each day—in homes, residential care centers and our three inpatient centers in Towson, Howard County and downtown Baltimore.
The way Gilchrist provides care looks very different today than it did a few short months ago—with fewer in-person visits, more telehealth, the use of personal protective equipment and limited visitors. But the end goal of providing comfort and compassionate care remains the same.
Here are a few of the ways Gilchrist has responded to the pandemic:
Keeping Our Patients and Families Safe
In the early days of the crisis, Gilchrist quickly adopted new safety protocols, policies and training for staff—even as circumstances and public health guidelines seemed to change by the day. Gilchrist moved fast to acquire personal protective equipment for our employees and train them on proper use to keep everyone safe.
Innovating New Ways to Meet the Need
Our staff came together, innovating new ways to meet the needs of our community—through telemedicine, video chats, more frequent check-in calls and other practices. We launched virtual music therapy sessions, chaplain services, grief counseling and ‘Salutes to Service’ to honor veterans.
Caring for Patients With COVID-19
The seriously ill population that Gilchrist serves is especially susceptible to COVID-19, as many ar elderly and have compromised immune systems.
For patients with the virus, Gilchrist cares for them at home using full protective equipment and following established safety precautions. Gilchrist also provides care in its COVID-19 dedicated inpatient hospice unit at Gilchrist Center Towson, which is the only one in Maryland.
Responding With Compassion
The virus has disrupted lives in so many ways. Families are dealing with uncertainty and fear, isolation and grief. Our staff have responded with compassion to help people who are struggling. Our caregivers held patients’ hands when they were alone. They connected patients with their loved ones through video. And they offered reassurance, human connection and comfort.
How You Can Help
Gilchrist has created a special giving fund to allow us to respond to emergent needs. To donate to the Gilchrist COVID-19 Support Fund, visit gilchristcares.org/covid-19-fund.
To learn more about Gilchrist, visit gilchristcares.org.