Juniper Communities has been proud to be among the first to pilot Music Theatre International’s new Broadway Senior™ program – where older adults move from the audience to center stage, starring in their favorite Broadway musicals that have been adapted just for them. Now, we’re calling on our theatre friends to help equip us with a new kind of costuming – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These costumes may not be glamorous, but they’re necessary to keep our residents and those who care for them safe during COVID-19.
Nationwide, there is a shortage of basic yet essential supplies. We’re asking you to mobilize your sewing teams, dip into your reserves of fabric and elastic, and share your ingenuity and compassion to create gowns and masks to protect those who are most vulnerable. Juniper would appreciate your donations of PPE. Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to a senior living community near you. The show must go on, and with your help, it will. Please share your progress with us using #SendInTheGowns!
There is a critical need for gowns at this time. Click here for basic gown templates.
There are a variety of face mask templates online. Here is a link to one of our favorites, because it includes a pocket for a filter to be added for extra protection.
Face shields are critical PPE in the fight against COVID-19. Do you have access to a laser cutter? Click here for a template that shows how you can create a protective face shield for about $1 in under a minute.
There are a variety of other wonderful videos and templates available across the web. Talk with your local senior living community to see what styles they prefer.
No, these are not a replacement for N-95s and are not classified by the CDC as PPE. However, during times of crisis, they do allow us to save the most effective masks for the times they are needed most. Cloth masks can be used to provide droplet protection for those who are providing care and supportive services to seniors. Additionally, some styles of cloth masks can be used in conjunction with N-95 masks to prolong their use. The CDC has said that homemade masks also can be used in conjunction with face shields. For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/face-masks.html#crisis-capacity
By protecting older adults, we’re also keeping their nurses and caregivers safe, which can help to reduce the spread of the virus for us all!
The FDA has approved the use of reusable gowns. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/faqs-shortages-surgical-masks-and-gowns
Homemade gowns can be washed and reused daily. For more information about protective gowns, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/isolation-gowns.html
Material should be lightweight and hold up to multiple washings in hot water. 100% cotton is best for masks. Bed sheets are an inexpensive source for material for gowns. Any polyester, cotton, poly-cotton blend is appropriate for gowns.
There are a variety of templates online that use fabric ties instead of elastic. In fact, many nurses prefer fabric to elastic because it allows for a more customized fit. Elastic headbands are another source for elastic-like material. This is an opportunity to be creative!
Perhaps you already have a connection with a senior living community in your area. Maybe your family member lives there, or there’s one in your neighborhood. Great! First, call them to see if they are accepting donations of PPE. (Do not go to them, as senior living communities are restricting visitors at this time to minimize exposure to COVID-19.) If they can use your support, find out what they need most. Once you have made your gowns/masks/booties, consider mailing them, or coordinate with the community to find a time and location to drop them off. Remind them to wash everything thoroughly so it is sanitized before using.
Visit www.WhereYouLiveMatters.org for a listing of senior living communities throughout the nation. This directory is provided by The American Seniors Housing Association.
Deaconess.com also has resources available and is helping to match volunteers with organizations in need. https://www.deaconess.com/How-to-make-a-Face-Mask
For the most recent COVID-19 updates, we encourage you to visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Post on social media with #SendInTheGowns #WeWillGetThroughThisTogether
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