WEST JEFFERSON — Ashe Services for Aging along with the Ashe Senior Center and Ashe Assisted Living are taking all reasonable precautions to ensure the wellbeing of both their community and staff.

Executive Director Patricia Calloway said they are responding as quickly and thoughtfully as possible to all information regarding COVID-19 as it is presented.

As of March 19, the following decisions have been made regarding the facilities and services offered, according to Calloway.

Ashe Senior Center will be closed for at least the next two weeks including the exercise room, tax aide and all scheduled activities. 

There will be no on-site congregate meals served for at least the next two weeks but home-delivered meals will continue.

Generations Adult Day Care will be closed for at least the next two weeks.

Generations Children's Center will be closed from March 16-20. The staff is still gathering necessary information from NC Division on Child Development, Emergency Management and local health departments to make an informed decision on continued operations.

In-Home Aide services will continue at this time and Aides are asked to follow "call ahead" instructions by calling into the office if they or their client has any symptoms of illness.

CAP Case Management Services will also continue at this time.

Visitor restrictions at Ashe Assisted Living continue to be in effect and have been for the past week. 

They are completing temperature checks, questionnaires and logs at the door for employees, family members visiting for end of life care for certain residents, and medical providers who see clients for necessary services.

In addition, vendors are restricted and are dropping off supplies outside of the building.

According to Calloway, staff who have child care for their children are reporting to work and are spending time deep cleaning facilities, making telephone well-checks and assisting in services that continue to be provided.

Calloway said volunteers are continuing to deliver meals throughout the community and continue to work with Ashe County Sharing Center to provide enough weekend food backpacks for an additional two weeks. Emergency meals have also been ordered if meal deliveries have to be temporarily suspended.

The staff remains committed to providing as much support as possible and will make adjustments as the situation changes, Calloway said. 

"We are grateful for the support of the health department, Ashe Memorial Hospital and Emergency Management. Furthermore, the outpouring of community support for the most susceptible to this virus is heartwarming," Calloway said. "Everyone's patience and understanding is appreciated as we struggle with the best decisions."

Calloway said they do have concerns regarding the social isolation of their homebound participants and residents at the assisted living. They are currently using technology in an attempt to connect people through FaceTime, phone calls, etc. 

They would like for the community to join in on these efforts through Project Connect. 

Members of the community can make a difference by participating in Project Connect, which is an effort to help combat social isolation for residents and clients. Participants can write cards, create artwork or make encouraging videos of them reading stories or singing songs.

Those who would like to participate or have other ideas to share may contact Bevin South by phone at (336) 246-2461 or email at bevinsouth@asheaging.org.

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