UCH’s Newest Managed Community Finds Support Amid Pandemic

For Columbus Colony for Elderly Care staff, joining United Church Homes couldn’t have come at a better time. Staff, residents and families have been enveloped in the compassionate, inclusive UCH culture during an unprecedented time for senior living providers.

On Feb. 3, United Church Homes Management and CCEC, a not-for-profit, licensed skilled nursing community, announced their affiliation, and UCHM began helping CCEC with administrative and healthcare operations. Shortly after, the COVID-19 pandemic closed skilled nursing and assisted living communities across the U.S. to nonessential visitors. Over the next few weeks, many states closed businesses, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a stay-at-home order.

Early Preparation

UCH had already been preparing for COVID-19 in Ohio. Through daily video meetings, staff from UCH senior living communities collaborated on how to protect residents from exposure and shared the creative ways they continued to provide abundant life despite the potential threat.

UCH and CCEC’s relationship was vital during the early weeks of the crisis. UCH brought clinical expertise and resources from its national network of suppliers and healthcare partners, operating efficiencies and the experience of a multisite senior living provider to the partnership. CCEC, with a similar mission, brought its unique culture to the conversations around enriching community life.

Home to more than 120 residents, CCEC has cared for older adults for over 100 years, specializing in serving individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Columbus Colony Elderly Care staff warriors
Staff members at Columbus Colony Elderly Care show off their specially made masks with a clear plastic cover over the mouth. CCEC specializes in serving individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.

When UCH rolled out the UCH Warriors program to celebrate staff ingenuity and dedication during the COVID-19 crisis, CCEC staff joined in, sharing stories of how they kept residents’ spirits high. When staff started wearing masks to protect residents, UCH helped CCEC find some with a clear panel so residents who rely on lip reading could still communicate with staff members and one another. CCEC and UCH’s other managed communities can also use UCH’s supplier connections to get personal protective equipment.

A Special Welcome

For many employees at CCEC, an Easter gift from UCH and an invitation to join the UCH Warriors Facebook group really made them feel like part of the UCH family! When UCH launched the Facebook group for staff only, many workers from CCEC did not expect to be invited. But UCH welcomes everyone — all staff are #UCHWarriors!

CCEC offers short-term rehabilitation, outpatient therapy and long-term care, specializing in service to individuals who are deaf, deaf and blind or hard of hearing. It is one of only five organizations in the U.S. offering these specialty services to older adults.