Amid COVID, Mount Carmel Guild still going strong
Anthony Galli is one of thousands of clients who appreciates the assistance and support he receives from the Mount Carmel Guild’s Home Health Nursing program.
“Otherwise, I would be at a loss,” he says in a video titled “Aging in Place” posted on the Guild’s website.
The Home Health Nursing program is among the main services provided by the Guild, an inner-city Trenton diocesan outreach organization to help residents of Mercer County who are in need. The HHN’s goal is to provide seniors and low-income residents with professional basic health care needs free of charge. Registered nurses who are part of the Guild’s staff visit clients in their homes and perform a variety of tasks such as helping with medication management, conducting health screenings and assessments, acting as patient advocates and offering friendship.
Regarded as a blessing during the COVID-19 pandemic: HHN staff have continued offering modified services. They check in by phone or handle tasks that can be done without having to enter homes, such as prefilling medications, said Corinne Janoska, HHN director and a registered nurse.
Thankfully, HHN nurses have not received an increase in patient calls, which Janoska attributes to families having more availability to help their loved ones over the past six months.
A challenge the HHN staff did encounter, however, was having to postpone an initiative in which nurses accompany clients to doctor visits. Being able to meet with physicians would help nurses keep informed of their client’s medications or medical instruction changes. Another hurdle – the loss of a part-time nurse.
Because the HHN strives to promote medical stability and safety, the program has become a valuable resource, allowing many patients to remain at home for years, said Mary Inkrot, the Guild’s executive director. Recently, the HHN’s “Aging in Place” project again paired with Johnson & Johnson’s CaringCrowd, a crowdfunding effort in which Johnson & Johnson matches a percentage of one’s online donation. The $15,000 goal that was set for 2020 was reached in August, but additional donations may be made by visiting https://mtcarmelguild.org/.
Galli praised the work of the HHN and noted that the nurses have been helpful with refilling his medications and interfacing with Veterans Affairs on his behalf.
“I don’t know what I would do without them; their service is excellent,” said Galli, who served in the Pacific during World War II.
Monitor correspondent John Spinelli contributed to this report.