Aspire’s Response to Coronavirus

At Aspire, we continue to closely monitor communications from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and government agencies to stay on top of the evolving situation with coronavirus. Help us respond in these trying times and keep our participants with disabilities safe! Click here for how to help.

 

To make it as easy as possible, please find the most up-to-date information on precautions Aspire is taking here. We’ll keep you updated.

The health and well-being of our participants, team members, volunteers and community is our highest priority at Aspire, we are putting into effect a number of practices to be even more vigilant in our preventative strategies.

As Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) encouraged, we’ve strategically opened day program services. 

We are putting our best foot forward providing robust community day services from our community homes. Instead of traveling to large sites, we continue to get out in safe spaces in the community, such as parks.  We also welcome the community to join us virtually in our homes with volunteer connections — dance parities, bingo and more.

For those who don’t have access to curriculum based services from our community homes, we’re providing opportunities to come back to day service sites — Litt location in Hillside and and Aspire Killian Center services in Zion. We are working with individuals and their families to determine if this is a good fit. To minimize risk, small cohorts engage in meaningful activities a few hours a day a few days a week.

We create safe spaces and follow guidelines around temperature taking, mask wearing, cleaning, glove wearing, hand sanitizing, and often use our best defense – good old-fashioned hand soap.

Aspire’s Derby location in Westchester for seniors continues to pause services. Transportation to and from sites is paused as well.


We are excited to start welcoming family visits at our Community Homes. 
Here is what those visits will look like. It is our hope that these strategies will create a safe environment for you to connect in person with your loved one while minimizing exposure risk for your loved one, others who live in the home, and team members who provide care to your loved one.

  • Families and close friends can contact the Life Consultant to schedule visits during evenings and weekends – please plan to schedule a few days in advance.
  • One person at a time will welcome visitors to their home.
  • Visits will be outside at the Community Home using pre-marked areas for social distancing. As weather cools, the Life Consultant can help make alternative plans for on-site visits.
  • All parties will verify health status before the visit, sanitize hands at the start of the visit, and wear masks during the visit.


Limiting Trips

We are working with individuals to arrange priority trips for services in the community like doctors appointments, essential banking, and returning to community jobs.

Aspire is limiting trips and encouraging alternatives for life’s necessities. All of our community home residents are staying home as much as possible to limit their chance of exposure. Community home residents will still leave for medical services and similar essential needs and return home.

In cases like returning home from the hospital or any case where a community home resident may have been at higher risk of exposure, even if it’s unlikely, we are taking extra precautions.

  • We’ll provide top notch care and closely monitor that person’s health while they self-isolate as applicable.
  • Our dedicated team members will take extra precautions with personal protective equipment and intense cleaning.
  • Once a team member works in a home where someone potentially had exposure, they are strictly limited to only working at only that house to avoid possible exposure of others.


Team Member Precautions

  • We are continuing to remind team members on safe and hygienic program practices. This is an important preventative measure beyond our typical annual training.
  • We’re taking the temperature of our team members when they arrive at work at the community home.
    • If any employee has a temperature above 100 degrees or other symptoms, they will be advised to go home immediately for self-care and will not return to work without being symptom free or clearance from a doctor.
  • Whenever and wherever possible, we will assign team members to only work in one singular location (i.e. community home) and with the same people. We see this as a social distancing best practice.
    • There are instances when this is not possible. We are making every effort to minimize the number of locations and people a team member supports.
  • We are providing team members masks while working in the homes.
  • While our office buildings are beginning to reopen, we are strategically scheduling amount of time and frequency onsite, limiting building capacity, wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing. Some team members continue to provide remote support.


Monitoring Health 

We are monitoring for signs of potential illness, and any risks of potential exposures in our community. To better monitor health, we’re now taking the following precautions:

  • We’re monitoring for signs and symptoms of illness.
  • We are taking the temperatures of our residents daily.
  • If there is a temperature above 100 degrees, or other symptoms, our team will be reporting that to their doctor immediately to get further instructions.


We need your help to keep our Aspire community and our larger world safe and well!

  • If you have had contact with Aspire or someone at Aspire AND… If you have tested positive for coronavirus or been notified of coronavirus exposure, we ask you notify Aspire’s team immediately.
  • Practice and encourage regular hand washing, avoid close contact with others, cover your mouth and nose with a face cover when you leave your house, cover coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect, and of course staying home when you are sick.
  • Help us respond in these strange times and keep the individuals we serve safe! Donate to Aspire’s Response Fund today and learn more ways to help here.

Thank you for helping us create a community of health and wellness.

Again, we are monitoring our status and guidance from the CDC regularly and continue to discuss options for responses in preparation as the situation evolves. Above all, rest assured that we are staying vigilant.

We will continue to keep you updated as needed. If you have questions, please reach out to:

  • For families, please reach out to your life consultant.

  • For volunteers, please reach out to Kelli Hlavach.

  • For team members, please reach out to your supervisor or your respective Vison Team leader: Becky Jackson,Chief Program Strategy Officer, Herb Washington,Chief Innovation Officer, Sharon Lawrence, Chief People Officer, Serena Alaily, Chief Financial Officer, and Dina Donohue, Chief Mission Officer.

  • For vendors and partners, please reach out to your regular contact.

  • For general inquiries, please reach out to Maggie Hassler.

 

Please stay strong, stay well, and stay kind. Remember, together, we’re better.

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