Why Home Care Providers Are at the Forefront of the COVID-19 Battle
During the past year, and throughout the pandemic, public and media attention was rightfully turned to hospitals and nursing homes. Healthcare professionals fought a heroic battle to save lives, and direct-care workers in long-term care facilities did their best to keep covid-19 out and residents safe.
Far from the spotlight, home care providers were also burdened. With more responsibility, more stress, and more risks. The Covid-19 pandemic has made an already challenging job even more difficult for home care workers. Apart from the obvious new challenges of the coronavirus, home care workers face many other challenges and difficulties in their day-to-day job that are enhanced by this current situation.
The caregiver’s job, providing care to older adults at home is challenging both physically and emotionally. It is also one of the most important jobs there is, and there’s a growing need for home care workers all over the world. Unquestionably, home care workers face unique challenges when performing their job during these uncertain times.
Home care and aging in place
To understand the term “aging in place,” we must first understand the needs and desires of older adults. Although there exists a portion of the senior population who may want to move to a retirement community or assisted living facility, most of the older population prefer to live in their own home for the rest of their lives, where they have spent the majority of their lives.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aging in place means the ability for someone to live in their own house safely, independently, and comfortably.. This allows people to keep their sense of dignity, independence, and most importantly, personhood. Many older adults struggle with lack of this autonomy as they age and the option of aging in place allows them to feel secure in the comfort of their own home, their familiar surroundings and community, even in their advanced age.
The unsung heroes of the pandemic
The services of in-home care providers are highly valuable, but unfortunately, they often get overlooked. The following are just a few of the responsibilities and duties of home care providers:
Assistance with the activities of daily living, such as household chores, bathing, preparing food, running errands, etc’.
- Providing companionship to help keep clients happy and prevent them from feeling lonely.
- Being in touch continuously with clients to make sure everything is okay. This may also include identifying any signs of shifts in the client’s health.
Providing all of the above and more, in the midst of a global pandemic, is infinitely more challenging. Home care workers are risking their well-being every day, for the genuine purpose of providing support and care to the older clients.
Along with ensuring their own safety,, home care workers must also safeguard their clients from any risk, and work long hours wearing PPE. It’s important to acknowledge each essential worker in these home care agencies, along with their employers, for keeping older adults safe and providing the care and support they need. Their efforts warrant both appreciation and gratitude.
Dignity and compassion
Being a home care provider is often trying work, and the ongoing Covid-19 situation has only amplified these challenges. The number of responsibilities and obligations these hardworking individuals fulfill on a daily basis is genuinely commendable, and they are truly at the forefront of the COVID-19 battle to help keep our seniors safe.