Caregivers – Unsung Heroes of COVID-19 Pandemic
June 7, 2020
Meals on Wheels Central Texas In-Home Care’s 250+ caregivers are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic - and the stakes could not be higher. The vulnerable older adults we are honored to serve face a much higher risk of developing more serious complications from COVID-19. In home care supportive services help those we serve to remain safe at home during these uncertain times, and has been shown to reduce emergency room visits and premature nursing home admissions. Yet, too often in our society, the important work done by caregivers is either overlooked or taken for granted.
In the best of times, our caregivers transform clients’ homes into safer environments in which to age in place with dignity. In the middle of a pandemic, however, their professional services and unwavering dedication are even more vital to the older adults and people living with disabilities that we serve. Our detail-oriented caregivers strictly adhere to all required health and safety precautions, pre-screening themselves and the clients they serve for symptoms of COVID-19 and other illnesses before delivering services.
We thank these unsung heroes for going above and beyond during these unsettling times, and for protecting the health and wellbeing of the wonderful people we serve, people just like Carol Nathanson:
“Debbie always wears a mask and is constantly disinfecting things around my home. She was worried about the virus [late last year] and I laughed at her. I’m not laughing anymore,” says 75-year-old Carol Nathanson.
Ms. Nathanson’s talking about Debbie Lopez, her Meals on Wheels Central Texas In-Home Care provider. Twelve years ago, Ms. Nathanson became disabled after a surgery that went wrong. She relies on Debbie for help with the activities of everyday life - and she doesn’t know what she would do without her. “When people ask me how I’m doing [during the pandemic], I say ‘I’m blessed. I’m doing great.’ And Debbie’s a big reason why I’m doing great.”
Debbie, who has two children and two grandchildren, says “I think that’s what I’m here for – to be a mother, a grandmother, and to take care of people.” From housecleaning, to shopping and running errands, to cooking, Debbie does it all. “[Ms. Nathanson] loves my special omelet and my chicken parmesan,” she says with a laugh.
But even more than the chicken parmesan, Ms. Nathanson appreciates Debbie’s companionship. “When she comes into my house, I’m not alone anymore. I have a friend. We laugh every day” she says.
And the feeling is mutual. “When I walk into her home, she makes me feel like I am home,” says Debbie.
Ms. Nathanson has used other in-home care agencies in the past. She says she hit the jackpot when she found Meals on Wheels Central Texas IHC and Debbie.
“To have a caregiver who is also your friend is very, very special. I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have Debbie.”