Cabin Mountain Gets Creative Amid Covid-19
Managing a long term care program for young adults is a challenge in and of itself, but when a global pandemic hits, those challenges are magnified. However, the clients of Cabin Mountain Living Center have continued in their daily living activities with minimal disruption. This has been achieved by the creative leadership of Kelly Pennington, Director, and Donna Fridley, Assistant Director, along with the hard working and dedicated mentors of Cabin Mountain.
“We are blessed to live in an area that provides lots of outdoor and nature-based opportunites,” said Pennington, “and we take advantage of that as often as possible.” Cabin Mountain Living Center, a member of the Q&A family of programs, is located on a 15 acre farm that includes gardens, an orchard, a pasture and barn where goats are kept, and lots of space for taking mindful walks. The property is next to the Dry Fork River, which is one of the premier trout fishing streams in WV. Several of the clients spend time fishing for the native WV brook trout. They also enjoy an afternoon swim on hot days. All of these activities are available without the clients leaving the property or risking exposure to the virus.
In addition to the farm where the program is located, the North Central area of West Virginia is rich with outdoor adventures. The Monongahela National Forest, Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, Spruce Knob Wilderness Area, and Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge provide a myriad of opportunities for naturally social-distanced activites. The staff of Cabin Mountain ensure the clients have access to these areas weekly. “The young adults are learning the history of the area while also getting exercise and benefitting from nature connection,” said Fridley.
The communities that surround Cabin Mountain are assets to the programming. Store managers and shop keepers continue to go above and beyond to ensure the clients of Cabin Mountain have everything they need with minimal exposure. For example, the manager of Shop n Save Express, a local grocery store, provides opportunity and support for the leadership of Cabin Mountain to shop for client groceries and personal needs each week. Two staff shop for all clients and then create a “store” on the property to allow each client to experience purchasing his or her own groceries without leaving the property and risking additional exposure.
To serve their community, the staff and clients of Cabin Mountain have created weekly Meals on Wheels program. Each Thursday, lunch is provided for each staff member working in any Q&A program location. The staff and clients prepare the meal together and then travel to deliver the lunches. Every week, the clients choose one community business to include in the Meals on Wheels. Some of the businesses that have received meals include Grant County Bank, the BFS convenience store and gas station, Harman Health Center, and Black Bear Resort. “The clients and staff look forward to this activity each week,” said Pennington; “it gives them an opportunity to give back to the commnity that supports them,” she continued.
As the world adjusts to the reality that includes Covid-19, long term care programs and facilities must also adjust. Many of these clients have chronic health challenges, making them a high-risk population. “We can no longer depend on community-based instructional programming, but our clients have the same needs,” said Angie Shockley, Founder and CEO of Q&A Associates, “to meet those needs, we must be creative and think outside the box, and that is exactly what the leadership of Cabin Mountain Living Center continues to do.”
About Q&A Family of Programs
Q&A Family of Programs offers three different residential options that works with young adults ages 18 and up, providing opportunities for each of them to develop independent, functional, and happy lives with a high level of quality. Our clients have struggled to reach independence for a variety of reasons such as the inability to develop and/or implement the life skills needed to be successful, or struggling to obtain consistent employment. Our goal is to help these individuals find meaning and an authentic purpose for their lives and a practical path to achieve their goals.