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As a social worker at Element Care PACE, Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, Melissa Moore ‘17G helps care for nursing home eligible elders in the community, keeping them in their homes and helping them maintain independence.
“I love my work as a social worker at Element Care,” Melissa says. “I've had the opportunity to build longstanding relationships with participants and their families. I've had the good fortune to build great collateral relationships with local agencies and with other professionals in this area. One of the hallmarks of a PACE program, like Element Care, is that we work in a collaborative interdisciplinary team. I get to work with other disciplines including medicine, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, dietary, and behavioral health.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has had to adjust her work from seeing her participants on a sometimes daily basis, to building verbal relationships without the benefit of being face-to-face. The collaborative interdisciplinary team she works with has also had to move their interactions to the phone.
“I've had to bring all of those relationships, both with my coworkers and my participants, onto the phone,” Melissa explains. “In addition, there have been challenges along the way. Situations where I could normally do a home visit to assess the situation, I'm having to rely upon others to be my eyes and ears. Luckily, I've been given the resources to continue to support my folks, even from afar.”
One of the biggest lessons she has learned during this pandemic is how deeply we need relationships with others.
“My professional life does not feel the same without those in-person relationships,” Melissa says. “It’s wonderful to have the phone connections, but you can't see a smile, touch a hand, look into someone's eyes. I miss these things tremendously. At the same time, I'm grateful that I can continue to support my participants in their homes, and continue to keep them safe. I think I have also learned that while I tend to be a very solitary person, I get a lot out of my interactions with coworkers and participants. I miss these relationships greatly right now.”
We are proud to call Melissa one of our Viking Warriors who is making a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic!