2020: What a year it has been so far.
There is the virus that will probably be with us for an undetermined time. I am certain that we will have no Thanksgiving or Christmas family gatherings. Then there are the fires that seem to go on and on, destroying families and their homes, not to mention the interminable smoke. Add to that a society that will have a very contentious election. I, like most people, feel somewhat depressed, alone, stressed, and wait for it all to be over so I can get back to my life as I knew it. Previously, my life was busy and I enjoyed doing what I wanted, visiting with my family, and having gatherings that were fun, and hopefully, the next generation felt that it was fun for them as well. Now I spend much of my time reading and working on cleaning out drawers and closets and watching TV which is mostly a waste of time.
I work in the health care field, and there are those working in health care who seem to have been left out of the accolades that others have received. These are the people who work in Home Care. These are the people who take care of mom and dad in their homes. They must protect their patients as well as themselves from the virus. As they go to their daily assignments they must deal with their client’s fears and physical needs; some of their clients live in facilities that cater to older people and the fear of virus spread is very real. There are clients living in areas that may have to be evacuated in a moment’s notice, due to fires. Yet there is not one of them that would not do their best to keep their patients safe.
Caregivers must cook, clean, provide personal care, keep their clients appropriately dressed, wash clothes, change beds, and make certain that those in their care stay engaged. These are the job requirements and they do these jobs without complaints. The caregiver has to be aware of the client’s medical problems and what to do in case of an emergency, make certain the patient takes their medication as ordered by the physician, be aware of psychological problems that the patient may have, and how to deal with those problems. Many older people have memory issues and continue to talk about the same thing over and over; this factor must be endured by a caregiver who knows that this is part of the job of caregiving.
The licensed RNs or LVNs that do weekly visits to their clients may have to endure changing gloves, gowns, masks, shoe covers with each client before entering their homes. So many extra precautions must be taken in order to keep each client safe, as well as the nurse. Obtaining this protective equipment has been a real hardship. Most protective devices have been saved for hospitals, clinics, and first responders and not for freestanding Home Health Agencies. The licensed nurses must make weekly visits in order to fill medisets, do lab work, check their care plans, ensure that the client is getting the proper care, and make certain that the clients have had no change in condition.
Home Health Care is not an easy job and anyone who thinks that it has no concept of how involved it can be, and how rewarding. Those of us who are living our lives and in need of assistance to stay home thank those important medical professionals for all their help and understanding.