After over a year of virtual services and home visits, Mercy Care of Rome will be reopening their facility and restarting their in-person adult day health program on April 19.

They’ve been working on a reopening plan for the last few months, with four phases.

“We started with education and preparation, learning about (personal protective equipment) and masks,” Executive Director Liz Molina said. “Then we did some run-throughs, reenacted a typical day and brought up any potential problems we may have.”

Mercy Care is a nonprofit organization that operates adult day health centers and medical facilities in several locations. The Rome facility serves seniors all around Northwest Georgia and provides them with multiple services, such as medical care, activities and employment opportunities.

They’ve continued a lot of their programs through phone calls, at-home health checkins and Zoom calls, but this will be the first time they’ve opened their facility since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Molina confirmed that they will still continue their pandemic services for those who are still quarantining. Not all of their clients will be returning as some of the families worry about their health and safety.

The organization will not have any vaccination requirement, according to Molina, but they will be strongly encouraging all of their clients to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Clients coming into the facility will be screened by having their temperature checked and answering a series of COVID-19 related questions, such as “Have you experienced any coughing or fever in the last two weeks?”

Masks will be required by all clients in the facility, both indoors and outdoors.

Over the past year, the nonprofit has been able to make some changes and upgrades around their facility, using money from a grant from the Northwest Georgia Area Agency on Aging.

One of the first projects they planned was a meditation garden for their clients to use on nice days. They already have a gazebo set up and had benches donated by a local Eagle Scout.

They still need to add fencing and flowers around the garden, but they should have it ready in the next few months. Molina said she’s been talking to their landscaper about the kinds of plants that would fit best in that area.

Molina and staff also have been working on a transition room for their clients.

“Some of our clients haven’t left their homes in over a year so we want to make a calming room for them to relax in when they might get overwhelmed,” the director said.

The transition room already has a few rocking chairs and couches, as well as calming music and sounds to listen to. Molina also plans to add some fidget devices for the clients to use in case they’re anxious.

On April 29, Mercy Care will host their annual golf tournament fundraiser at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville. Registration starts at $250 for one player.

For more information on the golf tournament and registration, contact Mercy Care at 706-291-8496.

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