Merica House is unique. It is truly the only one of its kind. It is a group home...but it is not. I say this, because in spirit, it certainly is a group home to its five residents and their families in every sense. But legally and with regard to the level of care Medicaid provides its residents, it is considered a private residence where five physically disabled men and women share their personal care assistants. The do this in order to get round-the-clock care to help them with every aspect of daily living, as well as giving them a degree of independence that they would not get in a nursing home. Without the aides, the residents cannot care for themselves, down to the most minute details. And whereas this model has served them well until now, this pandemic could devastate them.
Three of the five residents are currently in the hospital with the coronavirus, COVID-19. Luckily, miraculously and thankfully, two could potentially come home soon. But, because Merica House is a private residence, it does not have the logistical support that a true group home would be able to provide - one of them being the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is something that both the personnel caring for the residents, as well as the residents themselves, need in order to convalesce and then continue to live safely at Merica House. It’s a new world now, one of unforeseen pandemics and creation of GoFundMe pages just to keep families going. This family needs you now.
Because Merica House is a private residence, the residents ( and by extension the families) are responsible for providing PPE. This means gowns, masks, visors, gloves , booties, etc. So, too, every item to clean and disinfect (paper towels, disinfectant spray and Clorox wipes, etc.). Honestly, we are struggling. Both with finding it and being able to afford it. As each of you who are reading my letter knows by now, those items are in short supply, and expensive when you do find them. Yes, it’s a new world for all of us. But especially for the residents and families of Merica House. Your support will help provide emergency relief for our Merica House families who need it now.
So, we are reaching out to you for help. We are looking for donations to help us procure these items so that the aides can safely return to Merica House when the residents currently in the hospital come home and can continue to care for the residents who are still at home in Merica House. Especially now that some of the residents have tested positive for COVID-19, we must supply the aides with the gear they need to be safe themselves, to safely care for the residents and the residents need in order to be safe while they are being cared for. It is a two-way street. Today, I am asking you to help us with the needs of Merica House and it’s residents.
The Merica House model is truly a credit to the human spirit’s creativity and desire for independence. But right now, it needs our help to get through this crisis. Without it Merica House, De, Mo, Cathy, Matt and Joe could become yet another victim of this deadly and insiduous virus.
We need your support now more than ever so that we have the resources to help our residents in the weeks and months to come. May we count on your support? Your donation will help Merica House be a beacon of hope amid an extraordinary situation.
Board Member, Alliance for the Physically Disabled, Inc.
Family Member of Merica House Resident