Above: Porch Care Package: Janelle Davenport, Hero’s Bridge Battle Buddy Coordinator, delivers a package to Vietnam Army Veteran James Wells
Hero’s Bridge implements four new programs to aid senior veterans during COVID-19
Hero’s Bridge honors our military servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. This Memorial Day, we remember our fallen brothers and sisters at arms and continue to serve our local aging veterans who returned home from service, never forgetting those who did not.
To serve our veteran population during COVID-19, Hero’s Bridge has implemented four programs for veterans who are traditionally an isolated segment of the population.
“We quickly minimized our face-to-face visits but increased our phone visits with veterans to avoid potential exposure to the virus and re-evaluated our programs to see how we could continue to serve them,” said Molly Brooks, Co-Founder and President of Hero’s Bridge. Brooks is also a registered nurse who works full time for a regional health care organization. Her experience proved invaluable to the circumstances Hero’s Bridge faced.
One week following at-home orders, Hero’s Bridge implemented the following programs to make sure their veterans continued to receive care.
Porch Care Packages: The team made a list of both essential items and a few creature comforts and delivered them to veterans in greatest need. This program will continue throughout the pandemic.
Video Check-In: Two Hero’s Bridge veterans have received a tablet that will alert them to take their medicine, send information back to a central hub to monitor their vitals and perhaps more importantly, will allow a virtual visit from a team member to help combat isolation.
Meal Service: For veterans who do not receive care packages, a meal delivery service ensures veterans have access to food that takes their specific dietary restrictions into consideration.
Pen Pal Program: This arrangement has paired veterans with a local family, also isolated, to communicate with. If children are in the family, the veteran can expect drawings and pictures to decorate their walls. Older students may pose questions about their service; whereas adults will have another adult to communicate with.
“I am proud of the Hero’s Bridge team for pivoting so quickly to identify ways that we could still serve our veterans while also minimizing in-person contact to protect their health,” said Brooks. “It is a privilege to help veterans navigate these challenging times.”
Hero’s Bridge is a 501c3 dedicated to serving elderly veterans, age 65 and older. We serve, stand by, and honor our aging veterans through six distinct programs. These services are available to our heroes wherever they call home, at no expense to them or their families. www.herosbridge.org
By Aimée O’Grady