Senior Life: Dedicated staff help seniors during record snow

Dedicated personnel for the Springhouse Retirement Community and Ethos helped deliver services to seniors during the recent record snowfall that hit the area.

Karen Pollack, spokesperson for the Springhouse Retirement Community on Allandale Street in Jamaica Hills, said that everyday service was “100 percent not affected” because the staff went “above and beyond.” She said some staff walked five miles to get to work, while others brought their sleeping bags and slept on air mattresses in the main areas.

“We are very fortunate to have dedicated staff,” she said.

She said staff pitched in areas they have never been involved in, including management cooking food, feeding the seniors and washing dishes.

Dale Mitchell, executive director of Ethos, an Amory Street nonprofit that delivers home-based care for seniors, said he is “proud to say” that there were only four days that the organization was unable to deliver meals. He said for those days, the organization pre-delivered shelf-stable food packs that contained three days worth of meals.

Mitchell said the drivers “showed true grit,” traveling two to three times as long as normal down narrow lanes to deliver 1,000 meals a day. He said there were very few absences and that many drivers are seniors themselves.

“I’ve been here for 21 years and never seen conditions like this,” said Mitchell.

He said that although Ethos was able to deliver those food packs, not getting the regular meals can be “unsettling” and frightening” for seniors. Mitchell also said that the snowstorms take a psychological impact on the seniors.

“Nothing quite like a snowstorm to isolate an elder. Historic snow leads historic isolation,” he said.

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