Adult family homes in Clark County in dire need of supplies amid COVID-19 outbreak

Clark County has almost 400 adult family homes, each one caring for six residents – nearly 2,400 total

Courtesy of In It Together RN LLC
Courtesy of In It Together RN LLC

The latest impacts of COVID-19 in Southwest Washington have left many people without jobs, hospitals running dangerously low on important medical supplies, local businesses losing unimaginable amounts of money and more. But one thing that hasn’t been brought to light much is the almost 400 adult family homes in Clark County and their need for many basic, day-to-day supplies.

“Clark County has almost 400 adult family homes, each one cares for six residents, so nearly 2,400 vulnerable residents are being cared for in these facilities,” said Beth Paul, RN, clinical director and CEO of Vancouver-based In It Together RN LLC. “Thus far, these homes have gotten no help from the government in meeting their needs.”

Paul said that In It Together RN serves nearly 200 of these adult family homes, but they are “working to help all of them at this point.” She said most of the facilities restock through normal routes such as Costco, so they are now running out of many things because of the impact that COVID-19 has had on stores like Costco.

“Most have few, if any masks, are running low on gloves, are nearly out or are out of hand sanitizer,” Paul said. “Many need thermometers. Many are running out of disinfectant wipes and other similar products. Toilet paper and paper towels are running low. Earlier this week we delivered toilet paper to a home that was using paper towels folded in half to provide toileting care to residents.”

Paul said that many of the homes have a staff person running from store to store trying to get basic supplies for their residents. The act of trying to get these supplies, however, is increasing the risk of these individuals spreading the virus to the vulnerable residents living in these homes. And, as Paul pointed out, if the caregivers get sick, meeting even basic needs of residents will become impossible in many of these homes.

“The situation is dire and like nothing I have seen in my healthcare career,” Paul said. “I am giving what I can from my equipment and supplies to help, as most of our nursing visits are now being done virtually using Zoom. However, I have a small team of eight nurses, so my supplies will not go far. Our resources, being an agency that receives 70% of our revenue from Medicaid, are also extremely limited. We also need to keep some of our supplies for when a nurse must see a client in person.”

Paul said she is working with Southwest Office Supply and Interior to obtain an order of paper products, but they are unable to help with other items at this time.

Items that these adult family homes continue to bed in need of include:

  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Disinfectant
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cloth masks

“These homes need basic supplies so they can safely focus on caring for their residents,” Paul said.

Adult family homes in the area that are in need of supplies can contact support@iitrn.org. If you would like to donate to the effort, donations can be made by check to Beth Paul and mailed to 2912 Main St., Suite 4, Vancouver, WA 98663. Excess donations will be split between A Caring Closet and Hope A Dementia Support Group at the conclusion of this need.

In it Together RN is not a nonprofit organization. This is being done due to a current significant need and is NOT a tax-deductible donation.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.