Master Care partner unites with thousands of volunteers to protect seniors, healthcare workers during COVID-19 epidemic

Currently, Beth Stager, an Electronic Caregiver® Master Care Partner (MCP) in Bradenton, Florida, is making an impact. She is fighting against COVID-19, along with thousands of volunteers in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Beth is making masks for medical staff, senior living communities, and others in need.

The emergency preparedness and response effort started with the Manatee County Aging Network (MCAN), of which Stager is a member. Stager worked with MCAN president Hope Carey and other members to get the ball rolling. Hope Carey is an independent eldercare resource planner. “Our MCAN board had an emergency meeting to take a look at where to focus funding,” said Carey. “As we started reaching out to the community…what people were saying is, ‘We need facemasks.’ So, we started organizing a grassroots effort to make facemasks.”

Along with the volunteer effort to make masks, MCAN is endorsing Electronic Caregiver as its preferred personal emergency response system

Since the project began in early April, the group has grown significantly. They have also partnered with several local businesses and organizations. The number of volunteers has gone from six people to thousands throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties. For example, local Goodwill stores donated 89,000 pounds of clothes to the group. “I called one Goodwill and Donn Githens, VP of operations at Goodwill Manasota, hooked us up with four in the area,” Carey said.

Consequently, volunteers are using the cloth to make the masks. Other partners include Bayside Community Church in Bradenton. BCC provided 600 volunteers to the cause. Sheet metal workers in Florida donated thousands of aluminum nose pieces for the masks. With the help of Lutheran Family Services, the Pittsburgh Pirates donated t-shirts for masks and provided volunteers. More businesses and organizations continue to get involved. Beth Stager is just happy that she, as an ECG Master Care Partner, is impacting her hometown community together with so many others.

As a result, as of mid-April, volunteers had donated about 400-500 homemade masks. Donation sites included Manatee Memorial Hospital, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, the local police department, and the sheriff’s department. A few volunteers and partners also got masks. Incredibly, by the end of the month, volunteers had made a total of 30,000 masks. “Our main goal was hospitals, but we’ve also given some masks away to other places,” Carey said.

As a former nurse, this Master Care Partner loves to impact her community

As a nurse for more than 30 years, Master Care Partner Stager said she enjoys being able to help the medical community. “It’s kind of amazing from the nursing aspect of it since I’m not working in a hospital anymore,” she said. “My master care partner status helps me impact our community. I’m also helping friends and the hospitals that are in desperate need of masks for protection.”

Along with making masks, Stager is networking through MCAN to let the community know about the Electronic Caregiver solution. Electronic Caregiver’s remote patient monitoring and telehealth services help slow the spread and therefore the impact of COVID-19.

According to Harvard Medical School, using virtual care technology for regular medical care frees up vital medical staff and equipment. This allows doctors to more efficiently treat COVID-19 patients who are seriously ill. It also prevents patients from visiting the doctor’s office, where they risk coming into contact with, or potentially spreading, the virus.

“Right now, there is hysteria around any sickness or symptom,” Carey said. “People are backlogging and tying up the doctors’ phone lines, the hospital’s phone line, and the healthcare system’s phone line trying to get answers. Utilizing Electronic Caregiver and their telemedicine line frees up doctors.”

Electronic Caregiver Technology

Electronic Caregiver’s Pro Health system allows clients to track their vitals, including their temperature, from home. A fever is one of the main symptoms of COVID-19. Vitals information can be sent to a doctor or care team member to monitor their health remotely. The system features 24/7 emergency response, medication reminders, as well as pocketMD telehealth.

Electronic Caregiver’s technology is ideal for seniors and chronically ill patients living alone at home. These are also the individuals most vulnerable to the coronavirus. “We have a huge population of the elderly here who have no family nearby,” Carey said. “So, they do not have the support systems of an adult child or other relative to be able to check on them.”

“Those isolated in their homes are at risk for all sorts of things that could happen,” she continued. “Ideally, we would like to see those people have the ability to be safer and help them age in place. We want to help them provide better records for their doctors managing their care.”

Beth Stager is constantly introducing Electronic Caregiver’s technology into senior living communities. “In a senior community, it’s going to be a great way to check in daily,” Stager said. “In most senior living communities, residents are independent. They do not have to check in with the front desk or the office. This technology would be a good measure for the community to make sure their residents are up and moving, and healthy.” Stager believes that she and every other Master Care Partner with ECG can successfully impact the Senior community.

This partnership protects and pays for that protection

Electronic Caregiver is both accessible and affordable. Stager is educating clients on different payer options. Funding sources include Medicare, Medicaid (in some states), and private insurance companies. Additionally, MCAN is offering help to certain individuals through grant money. “We have $19,000 in grant money sitting at our disposal right now,” Carey said. “And based on a screening process, is available to help seniors get Electronic Caregiver’s technology if needed.”

Taking these steps to get Electronic Caregiver to community members can help flatten the curve, according to Carey. “We can implement systems to slow down the spread. If we don’t use them, we are negligent,” she said. “So, if we get involved right now, we make a change that not only exists through COVID-19 but from a healthcare perspective, can set a new standard for the future.”

Beth says working with others to provide life-saving technology and make masks is a special feeling. “We’re a close-knit community, so I think this virus is going to bring us a lot closer and make us more aware of what the needs are in our community,” she said.

Become part of this Master Care Partner Impact

Lastly, if you would like to get involved in making masks, visit the Manatee Sarasota PPE Mask public Facebook group or manateecountyagingnetwork.org. Residents in these counties who would like to learn more about Electronic Caregiver Systems can call Master Care Partner Beth Stager at 941-321-4024. And watch the video right here!

To sum up, you can find out more about the impact of other Master Care Partners and check out another story of impact. You can also visit electroniccaregiver.com to learn more or find a Care Partner in your area.