Legal-name: California Aquatic Therapy & Wellness Center
Previous-name: DBA Pools of Hope
Address: 6801 Long Beach Blvd.
City: Long Beach
Organizational-status: 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Officer: Patricia Dixon, Executive Driector
ContactName: Patricia Dixon
Title: Executive Director
GrantPurpose: Pools of Hope respectfully requests funding to continue exercise and therapy programming for isolated seniors and at-risk Long Beach residents during the COVID-19 crisis.
Audienceserved: Low-income, elderly, disabled, high-risk populations
Demoofaudience: Pools of Hope clientele was 40% African American, 30% Hispanic, 20% Caucasian, 5% Asian and 5% Pacific Islander. We served over 1,500 children, 587 veterans, 826 seniors, and had 179 new memberships. Ten percent of the youth served at Pools of Hope have a physical or developmental disability, including but not limited to autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and Down syndrome.
District: Pools of Hope serves all districts of Long Beach, with a focus on District 8 and 9 – North Long Beach
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? Pools of Hope is an essential resource in the community: ensuring that residents have access to the health and social services they need to thrive. During this time of crisis from COVID-19, we have switched gears to begin providing services online. We are offering wellness and exercise classes, as well as physical therapy, for clients. This is critical to keeping vulnerable, at-risk and aging residents from feeling isolated, to maintain a healthy well-being and regular exercise, and to keep everyone connected while staying safe at home. Pools of Hope has built its reputation by responding to emerging community needs – and right now, our goal is no different.
We are now using Zoom, FaceBook and other technology to encourage our members of all ages to continue exercise for their mental and physical well-being during this difficult time.
1. We have added an online live, land-exercise program, as well as a video series of 15-minute workouts that can be accomplished in a small space. The classes are taught by our aquatic staff and include Tai-Chi, Chair and Bed exercises classes for our clients that are mobility challenged. We have received positive feedback from the participants as they appreciate the opportunity to stay connected to the organization and to each other as they exercise together.
2. We have a weekly check-in program for our Therapeutic Swimming Lessons (TSL) that serves children with a physical or developmental disability. This program provides a great opportunity for the child to stay connected to their instructor. Some parents have shared that their child looks forward to seeing their instructor and it gives them some sense of normalcy.
3. We also provide the services of an Applied Behavior Specialist (ABA) for children with special needs. This service is provided over Zoom to provide parent consultation.
4. We are in the process of starting a Telehealth Physical Therapy Program serving children and adults.
Once this health crisis is under control, we hope to re-start the aquatic physical therapy program, serving children and adults. It will be a modified program with limited hours and patients. We are excited for the opportunity to expand wellness programs to help meet the needs of the community during these challenges times.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : Funding from Coronavirus Relief Grant would support Pools of Hope’s efforts to get services technology into the homes of seniors and vulnerable residents that we serve. We are seeking funds to purchase 50 iPads that can be distributed to low-income seniors who are at-risk of isolation and becoming disconnected.
Pools of Hope is working to make sure our seniors and individuals with a disability have access to their exercise and physical therapy classes, and stay connected to peer and instructors, from their own homes. While physical therapy is considered an essential service, and the water has the ability to kill the virus — the best place to be is at home right now. There may be a technology learning curve for some seniors, and we want to take that into account to maintain competency and accessibility. Our staff will train seniors how to access exercise, physical therapy and wellness videos produced by Pools of Hope. We have already launched our first online exercise class and we are working on many more. Chair Exercise, Bed Exercise and Tai Chi can be done in small spaces with little to no equipment. These will be approximately 15 minutes each and produced by our highly qualified instructors and staff. Each week we expect to provide two (2) live streaming, 30-minute sessions at regular class times. We will also create wellness videos that provide preventative health information, such as fall prevention, nutrition, chronic diseases prevention and management and other topics that clients are interested in learning about. Staff are also doing continuous follow-up with seniors through phone calls and e-mails to stay connected, reduce isolation, and improve mental well-being.
Pools of Hope is anticipating a three (3)-month online program of exercise and wellness education for a minimum of 50 seniors with iPads provided from Pools of Hope, and at least 100-200 additional clients who are already connected and have the ability to access our services via the internet. Our goal is to reduce isolation, increase connectedness, and maintain positive mental health. We will continue to provide outreach to at-risk, vulnerable seniors. Telehealth services will ensure that clients can continue their physical therapy programs and can continue to improve their conditions in the comfort of their own home. Pools of Hope is also reaching out on social media to ensure seniors are having their needs met, including providing resources from County agencies.
3. What individuals (and/or organizations) will you assist? Over the past year, Pools of Hope clientele was 40% African American, 30% Hispanic, 20% Caucasian, 5% Asian and 5% Pacific Islander. We served over 1,500 children, 587 veterans, 826 seniors, and had 179 new memberships. Ten percent of the youth served at Pools of Hope have a physical or developmental disability, including but not limited to autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and Down syndrome. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to grip the world, we are particularly concerned about the vulnerable populations we serve.
Pools of Hope is adapting its model of service to best support low-income, at-risk residents of Long Beach of all ages. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a drastic effect on seniors and people with disabilities. For many of the children we serve with disabilities, the looked forward to their aquatic therapy or therapeutic swim lesson as it was the only physical activity they received. For children in wheel chairs, they looked forward to being free to move with less limitation while in the water. Many of the seniors we serve live alone and are isolated from social interaction on a regular basis. Coming to our program provided them with not only exercise but socialization as well, which was good for their mental and physical well-being. Also, most of our clients have some physical limitations and not having access to our program prevents them from having access to exercise on a regular basis.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: Pools of Hope has not received any disaster recovery funds to date.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: Pools of Hope has submitted surveys about our COVID-19 response to The Munzer Foundation and The Eisner Foundation. We will continue to seek resources that can support our new online programming to meet emerging needs. Pools of Hope must ensure that we maintain our capacity to serve at-risk and vulnerable populations in Long Beach.