*Disclaimer: Content used in this blog article was collected before the COVID pandemic. Please click here to view our response to COVID-19
Emmaus has great news to share about a technology update we’ve made to 69 homes, and it’s benefitting about 225 people with disabilities living in St. Louis.
Emmaus Homes in St. Louis has updated all of our service locations with new iPads and software. In the era of COVID-19, this technology is providing our clients with a whole new level of access to essential healthcare, group exercise sessions, counseling and social time with loved ones, which otherwise would not be available to them.
For many people, an iPad may just be a tool used to pass time, but for our clients who have a range of complex intellectual and developmental disabilities, the impact of this technology is invaluable.
For example, one app allows Emmaus clients and their support staff to connect immediately with a physician at StationMD, 24/7, anytime they have an urgent health matter that needs to be addressed. This alone prevents our clients and Emmaus staff from enduring stressful and logistically challenging trips to the doctor or hospital. Because of the iPad, this physician practice can effectively treat our clients from the safety and comfort of home more than 85 percent of the time.
As Emmaus’ Manager of Health Services, Alicia Schnare puts it, “The face-to-face interaction with StationMD doctors provides our clients a more tailored evaluation. This is a huge advantage over transporting clients to the doctor or hospital for minor medical issues. Keeping our clients in place reduces the risk of exposing them to coronavirus and prevents us from disrupting their routines, which is critical to their overall well-being.”
Some clients, who cannot communicate verbally, are using the technology to give themselves a voice. It offers them the independence to choose their breakfast items or alert staff to their restroom needs. Some use it to call and talk to their family members who they cannot visit in person.
This upgrade was possible thanks to Emmaus’ generous donors, Friends Foundation, Developmental Disabilities Resource Board of St. Charles, The Schaffer Foundation, the MO Department of Mental Health and MARF.