Local Agency Helps Remove Barriers for Home-bound Seniors to Get Vaccine

LifeCircles removes barriers and provides accessible transportation to help frail seniors receive COVID-19 Vaccine.

Holland/Muskegon, MI / Older adults are the most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. This same group of older adults may face barriers in getting the vaccine. Some do not have access to the internet to get on waiting lists, others may not have wheelchair accessible transportation to get to vaccine clinics. For nearly 300 seniors in Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan Counties, these barriers have been removed. LifeCircles PACE, an in-home senior wellness program, has been working hard to make sure the seniors they serve can access the highly sought-after vaccine. LifeCircles nurses, bus drivers, personal aides and more have stepped up to help seniors register for, use accessible transportation, and receive support needed to complete the vaccine series.

Though there has been a lot of effort to make sure seniors living in facilities have access to the vaccine, the picture is more complex for seniors with chronic health issues who live in their own homes. Each county has had a different approach to administering the vaccines. LifeCircles has taken the guess work out of getting the vaccine. It has been especially challenging for working adult children of frail seniors to make sure their parents receive the vaccine. The program works hard to take the pressure off family members who may have needed to take multiple days off of work to coordinate and escort their loved ones to the community vaccine clinics. Physical therapists, social workers and other team members met LifeCircles participants at the clinics to make sure persons living with dementia or mobility challenges had the support needed to navigate the unfamiliar community vaccine clinics.

Katie Mayberry, Director of Interdisciplinary Operations at LifeCircles Holland Location said “The incredible amount of energy and teamwork that has gone into getting our folks set-up with the vaccine highlights the strengths of our program. Everyday nurses, social workers, dieticians, pharmacists and more come together to make sure seniors living in the community do not fall through the cracks. It truly takes a village!” The program has worked closely with other community agencies like Mercy Health, HealthWest, Pioneer Resources, Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan County Health Departments, to ensure those who want the vaccine, receive the vaccine. “Our ties to the community run deep, pulling together and sharing strengths in a time a crisis is what we do in West Michigan” said Luke Reynolds, Executive Director at LifeCircles.

About LifeCircles PACE:
LifeCircles is a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. It provides innovative in home health care to older adults who might otherwise need to move into traditional nursing facilities. A team of highly qualified geriatric professionals delivers a total package of medical and social services to help seniors live in their own homes with dignity and grace. LifeCircles has served over 1000 seniors who live in Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan counties. LifeCircles PACE is a non profit organization that was created through a joint venture between Porter Hills/UMRC, Mercy Health and Senior Resources in 2009. For more information about the program please visit www.lifecircles-pace.org. You can also follow us on Facebook.