Compass Community inclusion caregiver/parent

In March, Compass' Portland and Hillsboro community inclusion programs were forced to stop meeting in person due to the Oregon Governor's Stay Home/Save Lives order. Many people receiving Compass inclusion services went from a full schedule of community activities to the monotony and loneliness of being at home every day.


Since people still wanted to stay busy and connect with friends, but in-person services were suddenly unavailable, Compass Portland and Hillsboro staff worked to move supports and activities online. At first, the change was difficult for a lot of people; even our long time client Bill from Portland stated, "It was sad to not see [my friends] and not go to the office anymore. Now I'm at home all the time." Bill, even signed up right away for these services and usually attends 4 classes each day via Zoom.


Compass classes bring people together around activities such as dance and fitness, art, learning Spanish, museum tours, strategies for managing stress, and how to make healthy snacks at home. People can also take part in social activities like reading stories together or playing Bingo and trivia.


Bill says, "My favorites are Snack Chat where we make sun tea and Karaoke." Bill enjoys singing his favorite folk and bluegrass songs for his peers and introducing them to his favorite artists. He also enthusiastically cheers for his peers as they sing! Bill's mom, Mary, agrees that the classes have been a great outlet for Bill during the Stay Home order, especially since he is very social and prefers to interact with family and friends all day.


"As Bill's caregivers/parents (sole providers) the onus of entertaining Bill fell solely on us for all his waking hours. We are absolutely thrilled with the services Compass is providing during this stressful time," Mary says. "It frees us for a good time during the day so we can focus on needed chores and activities. It also provides discussion topics to converse with Bill afterward, and gives him a sense of purpose for the entire day (and even the weekend as he is always planning ahead). We can talk and focus on his activities for the day--it bookmarks his day with scheduled plans that he enjoys."


Although he says staying at home all day is hard and he misses being out in the community, Bill is always engaged in the day's activities and willing to jump into learning new things, and enjoys making his peers laugh along the way. Bill says, "I really like the classes. At first, it was hard to use Zoom but I learned how to do it. I like talking to my friends."

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