Resources for older adults—and their caregivers
Fallon Health has long been dedicated to caring for those who participate in our Summit ElderCare program —a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)—and to providing information and resources for family members who care for older adults at home.
Supporting older adults through PACE
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we needed to modify care delivery for the 1,200 people who participate in PACE. Here are some of the steps we’ve taken:

  • Keeping our six PACE centers—in Leominster, Lowell, Springfield, Webster and Worcester—open to participants who require the day program to remain safe in the community.

  • Moving much of the care, including clinical visits and activities to mitigate social isolation, into the community.

  • Having our providers, nurses and health aides see participants in their homes.

  • Delivering meals.
  • Dropping off medication.
  • Supplying activity packets.
  • Checking in by phone and video chat.

  • Temporarily transforming our newest PACE site at 288 Grove St., Worcester, into a 24/7 infirmary to care for eligible participants who tested positive for coronavirus, are actively symptomatic and need sub-acute care.
“It is a great honor to be trusted to provide our participants with individualized care, especially now when there is so much at stake,” said Robert Schreiber, M.D., Vice President and Medical Director of Summit ElderCare. “It is our hope that the steps we’ve taken provide a source of comfort to participants, their loved ones and their caregivers during these challenging times.”
Online community for caregivers
For people who provide care to older adults, Fallon provides ongoing support through our Caregiver Connection blog .
A recent post from Emily Lemire, who is a social worker at Fallon Health, offers suggestions to help caregivers maintain social connections and take good care of their physical and emotional health .

For family caregivers, the social isolation that has come with the coronavirus pandemic can feel like a significant burden—and make difficult circumstances even harder to deal with. “It’s important to your own health and well-being to find ways, no matter how small, to lighten it,” Lemire says.
Coping with COVID-19
Webcast to feature Fallon’s President & CEO
To help provide a forum for answering questions raised by the coronavirus pandemic, Fallon Health is sponsoring the Worcester Business Journal's live webcast series Coping with COVID-19 . Panelists featured on the series share their insights on how businesses can weather the current crisis.
The next WBJ webcast— From the Front Lines: Health Care Leaders from Central Massachusetts —will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 21. Fallon’s President and CEO Richard Burke will join other area health care executives to discuss how their organizations are coping with the pandemic and what they expect to see in the coming months.
The panel will also include Dr. Tarek Elsawy, President and CEO of Reliant Medical Group, Dr. Michael Gustafson, President of UMass Memorial Medical Center, and Carolyn Jackson, CEO of St. Vincent Hospital. The webcast is free but advance registration is required.
You can see the WBJ’s past webcasts, including one featuring Fallon’s Chief Human Resources Officer  Jill Lebow  as part of a panel discussion: HR Strategy: Contingency Planning During the Crisis .
Health and wellness
Eat well when working from home
Working from home when you are used to being in an office setting may present some challenges for eating healthfully. It can be difficult to have access to food all the time. Here are some ways to help keep your appetite in check and prevent overeating.

  • Schedule your meals and snacks throughout the day, as you would if you were in the office.

  • Work away from the kitchen, so you are less tempted to graze all day.

  • Make a list of foods for smart snacking. Make up individual servings of them to prep and have available for when hunger strikes.

  • Drink plenty of water to avoid headaches and fatigue caused by dehydration, and limit caffeine. Keep a bottle of water with you, and sip it throughout the day.

  • Take breaks when you eat, if you can. And eat mindfully—chew slowly, focus on your meal, and relax to promote satisfaction and fullness.

Avoid stress eating by stepping away, taking deep breaths, and determining if you are actually hungry. Sometimes we lean on food to ease anxiety. Try a positive coping skill such as a 10-minute walking break. Moving away from your workspace while eating can give you the break you need to refresh your mind and be more productive.
In case you missed it …
Visit our website for previous COVID-19-related messages for employers. We’ve posted PDF versions of the messages for you there.