The Wesley Community provides exceptional care and compassion at their senior living community in Saratoga Springs. For over four decades, they have worked to ensure our loved ones can live their best life. When the COVID-19 outbreak reached the U.S., Wesley faced an unprecedented challenge to protect their highly vulnerable residents and frontline staff. Saratogians quickly stepped up to help them meet the needs of their residents, and then some. Learn the many ways the community showed support and how you can continue to help.
Saratoga Shows Overwhelming Generosity & Community Spirit
The Wesley Community’s commitment to protecting their older population and dedicated staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic incurred expenses that far surpassed their normal operating budget. They overcame this challenge thanks to the Saratoga community who went above and beyond to support Wesley, and in turn, the people they care for. We spoke with Katelynn Donovan, Assistant Director of The Wesley Foundation, to learn more.
“We have received so many donations of all kinds,” Katelynn said. “When there was a strong sense of PPE and food insecurity, the community immediately responded with donations of PPE and medical supplies that we were allowed to accept.”
In the early stages of the pandemic, when supplies were very limited, every single donation allowed Wesley’s workers to feel safe as they continued to offer quality care to friends, family, neighbors, and other people from our area.
In addition to key medical supplies, we can’t forget to mention just how much money the community donated to Wesley this past year. They received significant monetary donations to their COVID-19 Relief Fund, Resident Enrichment Fund, and Emergency Food and Supply Program – all of which directly benefited either staff members or residents.
Wesley is home to over 600 workers and more than 700 residents, and monetary donations both big and small went beyond their wildest imagination in assisting the senior living community.
From Food Donations to Car Parades, Community Members Spread the Love to Healthcare Heroes & Residents
Throughout the pandemic, The Wesley Community’s staff have worked extremely hard to protect residents and keep their spirits up while providing the best possible care. As a way to say “thank you” to these healthcare heroes, the Saratoga community banded together to drop off flowers and regular meal donations.
Generous donations came from many individuals, businesses, and organizations in the local area, and according to Katelynn, they were a “nice reminder to our staff that the work that they were doing during a very uncertain time was not only noticed, but highly appreciated and well respected.”
Even on the hardest days, another way locals showed their support while keeping a safe distance was through car parades. Kindhearted community members took the time to bring a few car parades to Wesley and brighten up the day for residents and staff. Everyone loves a parade, but these ones really brought joy to a part of the community that needed it.
Wesley Thinks Creatively, Connects Seniors With Loved Ones at Home
Physical separation from family has been one of the toughest parts of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for members who live alone at a senior living community or nursing home. To help connect their residents with family and friends virtually, The Wesley Community purchased new technology and tablets using some of the funds donated from the charitable people in Saratoga.
“Residents and their families have been utilizing the virtual visitation and enjoy the opportunity to still see each other face to face when traditional in-person visitation is not possible,” Katelynn explained. “We expect that after this health crisis settles and visitation shifts to another style, we will continue to have these virtual visitations in place as it has provided an opportunity for families that are not local to this region to see their loved ones far more regularly than they would have been able to historically.”
Katelynn also mentioned that Wesley would like to thank the Charles R. Wood Foundation, the Miles Hodson Vernon Foundation, the Peckham Family Foundation, the CapCom Cares Foundation, as well as their very generous Annual Campaign for the Virtual Enrichment Initiative donors for their support in purchasing large format smart-televisions and iPads to expand visitation and activities for their residents.
What Can I Do to Make an Impact?
From thoughtful donations to car parades, fundraisers, and other forms of support, the Saratoga community did so much for Wesley throughout 2020. Looking ahead to this year, the organization would like to enrich the lives of their residents even more and expand their options for entertainment and virtual socialization – and they can use your help.
Wesley continues their annual campaign for the Virtual Enrichment Initiative, which continues to raise funds for the purchase of additional tablets and smart-televisions for each floor of the Wesley Health Care Center nursing home.
“Prior to the pandemic, each floor of the WHCC had a robust schedule of activities, including games, gentle exercise, crafts, music, and current events,” Katelynn told us. “With the new televisions, combined with the new iPads, we will be able to bring back a number of these activities without putting our residents at increased risk.”
Not only that, but Wesley envisions bringing presentations and activities to certain residents that weren’t as accessible before, including religious services, music performances, educational seminars, trivia games, and Bingo.
We Are One Community: Donate to Wesley Today
If you’d like to donate to The Wesley Community and help them out during the COVID-19 pandemic, then please visit their Donations page. This page offers more information about their donation requests, and when you scroll down, you can make a direct donation to the Virtual Enrichment Initiative and other funds.
“The Wesley Community is so grateful to the local community for their support of our staff and residents as we continue to work through these new circumstances,” Katelynn said. “We look forward to the unique ways we continue to meet the needs of those we serve through the continued and outstanding support we receive. THANK YOU!”