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Supporting Transitions of Care in a Pandemic

November 05, 2021

The Story of Mr. and Mrs. Sipe*


Mr. Sipe, 78, was admitted to the hospital symptomatic and positive for COVID-19.  His 75-year-old wife was later admitted with COVID-19. During his hospital stay, Mr. Sipe exhibited some level of cognitive impairment. When he was clinically ready for discharge, he needed ongoing support. With his wife still in hospital, Mr. Sipe could not be immediately discharged to home.

Mr. Sipe was accepted to the COVID-19 recuperative care site located on Good Drive in Lancaster. This site provided short-term support for individuals recovering from COVID 19, including meals, monitoring, and assistance with activities of daily living. This site (one of three across the WellSpan market area) was supported through WellSpan philanthropy and a partnership with Lancaster Hospice and Community Care to share the building. There was no cost to the residents for their stay, which typically lasted 14 days or less.   The Special Programs team, Hospital at Home, and the WellSpan VNA provided wrap around services. 

With support of the care team, Mr. Sipe stabilized, however, he still required significant staff supervision and support. In the meantime, his wife continued to improve clinically, but not to the level that she could manage both of their care in their home setting. She was transferred to the Good Drive location where they could share a room while they continued to get stronger.    

They delighted the staff with their positive and appreciative attitude. They continually told each other jokes that would result in a rumbling belly laugh from Mr. Sipe. Staff could not help but join in the laughter when they passed the room. They moved their twin beds so they could sleep closer together. Even though isolated to their room, to them it was a wondrous resort, where they could finally be together again.  

They remained at Good Drive somewhat longer than most residents, until staff felt confident, they could transition successfully. Following their return home, the VNA continued to follow the Sipes short term, and they reconnected with their WellSpan primary care physician. They were excited to reunite with their church family and friends and were supported across multiple transitions of care with a happy ending for these two lovebirds!

*Their name was changed to protect their privacy.