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The Bainbridge Adventure! (aka. Escaping Hurricane Matthew)

Posted by: maura | November 18, 2016

Coastal Home Care is blessed to have the best people around to provide direct support for individuals who need help remaining safe and independent in their homes. 

CHC caregivers assist their clients with activities of daily living. These activities may include: assistance with bathing, dressing, meal preparation and errands, and other tasks. This support helps individuals with physical, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to comply with diet guidelines and medication goals, reduce falls or accidents and improve their quality of life. CHC skilled caregivers provide nursing services and perform tasks that maintain life-supporting equipment. CHC caregivers understand the unique needs of their clients and provide ongoing support when it is needed.

Recently, when Hurricane Matthew was blasting the Georgia coast, the CHC Caregiving team took action. CHC caregivers ensured that the individuals they serve were safe and cared for. CHC staff contacted every client in harm's way to ensure that safety plans were being carried out, either by family members, or when that was not possble, by CHC caregivers.

The Coastal Home Care Board of Directors and owners wish to express their sincerest gratitue to all Coastal Home Care office and caregiving staff who went above and beyond before, during and after Hurricane Matthew to ensure the wellbeing of their clients. To those who worked on Saturday, October 8th, the day the storm made landfall, we express humble appreciation. The extraordinary effort you made to care for the individuals we serve, despite the danger to yourselves to do so, deserves the upmost thanks. Had it not been for your dedication to serve those who depend on you, we would not have been able maintain essential skilled and life-support services.

Some of those honored are pictured above and below.

The CHC caregivers pictured below work for the Exceptional Needs Program in Savannah. These ladies support individuals living in their own apartments who are dually diagnosed with developmental disabilities, catastrophic brain injury and/or mental illness.  Four of our ENP individuals had to be evacuated from their homes in Savannah due to Hurricane Matthew. Because of their exceptional needs, evacuating from home could have been an extremely difficult and frightening process for these individuals. For that reason, the CHC caregivers who work daily with these individuals decided to leave their own families and accompany their individuals in the evacuation. That deserves repeating. These incredibly amazing Coastal Home Care team members made the decision to leave their own families, many of whom were also evacuating Savannah, and accompany their clients to wherever hotel rooms could be found.

The group wanted to stay together and also wanted to avoid I-16, since being in the car for long periods of time can be particularly difficult for these individuals. It was decided that the group would travel to Valdosta, but five hotel rooms could not be located in Valdosta. So the group moved west until they could secure five hotel rooms.  They ended up in Bainbridge, Georgia.

The five-day evacuation process, which became more of a party thanks to the amazing work of our CHC ENP Team and the friends they made along the way, has become known as “The Bainbridge Adventure.”  So as to make the evacuation less scary for their clients, the CHC ENP Team made stops on their way to Bainbridge at various landmarks and restaurants, thus making the long journey in a rented van fun and educational. Upon reaching Bainbridge, the group was welcomed at the Howard Johnson hotel, which had been expecting them. The manager there, Tammy, had been a huge help in making accommodation for the group’s special needs, and she made everyone feel comfortable and welcome. (Note: If you ever make it to Bainbridge, Georgia, we highly recommend the Howard Johnson!)

Hearing that our group of evacuees was headed their way, the Southwest Baptist Church of Bainbridge met our group with lunch. They brought lunch not just on our first day in Bainbridge; they brought lunch every day!  Stories are still being told of the very yummy food that the members of Southwest Baptist Church gave to make our group feel welcome and well fed.

While in Bainbridge, our ENP Group had many fun and often new experiences.  They went bowling, race car driving, played paint ball, shopped and ate at The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, played card games, watched movies, had an ice cream party, and ate the seafood buffet at Rickey’s Steakhouse and Buffet!

Many people deserve credit for pulling off The Bainbridge Adventure. ENP Program Director, John Coble, who could not join the group on the trip, coordinated efforts from home while Jasmine and Jernell coordinated return coverage and respite for The Bainbridge Adventure caregivers.  Brenda & Sherry, both ENP managers, took the lead on the five day evacuation, participating themselves as caregivers and securing other key staff to support the efforts. Also helping to pull everything together from home, as she does for the entire Coastal Home Care operation as Quality Director, Sharon Brooks deserves a tremendous “Thank you!”  Last but certainly not least, CHC Excutive Director, Jana Feiler, who made possible not only The Bainbridge Adventure but also ensured that every single Coastal Home Care client was safe through Hurricane Matthew and the evacuation deserves credit for consistent excellence in service delivery throughout all Coastal Home Care programs and territories.

 ENP Program Manager Brenda Cordell with CHC Quality Manager Sharon Brooks

 ENP Program Manager, Sherry Hickmon

 ENP Caregiver, Debra Major

 ENP Caregiver, Roberta Pringle

ENP Caregivers not pictured but who helped make The Bainbridge Adventure possible, Lushan Doggan and Akilah Daniels

CHC Board Members and Owners: Martin Miller, President and CEO, Freda Smith, CFO, and Rep. Jesse Petrea, Director of Development.

Each of the caregivers who worked during Hurricane Matthew to ensure care for their client(s) were honored at a 11/11/16 lunch reception with the CHC Board of Directors and CHC Executive and Management Teams. Not all of the honored caregivers could attend the reception, but all will be honored within the next few weeks on our website and Facebook page.  We are so thankful for all the amazing CHC caregivers whose work improves lives heart