Unsung heroes on the front lines: Caregivers taking extra precautions during COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

KNOXVILLE, TN (WATE) — While we celebrate doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, and other essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s one group of everyday heroes that continues to risk their health and wealth being for the greater good — caregivers.

Caregivers are needed everyday, but especially right now to help those in need of assistance to keep them safe and healthy at home, and away from hospitals where their risk of contracting COVID-19 is greater.

“Right now it’s incredibly important to keep them out of the hospital, so every little thing they do on a day-to day-basis is to keep that client out of the hospital. Make sure there’s no exposure,” Joy Wilson, owner of Right at Home, said.

Joy Wilson, owner of Right at Home, stresses the importance of these unsung heroes.

“We’re trying to protect, everyone is trying to protect our most vulnerable population and that’s exactly what these people do everyday,” Wilson said.

The caregivers are taking extra steps and necessary precautions to keep themselves and their clients safe. The added responsibility and steps is making for an even tougher job.

“They’re worried about catching the virus, they’re worried about their client catching the virus, they’re worried about bringing the virus to their client,” Wilson says, “They’re taking extra steps, extra measures in their homes–to make sure these sweet people are safe and taken care of and healthy in their home.”

Before coming in contact with their care recipients, caretakers like Renee Harris, perform an assessment to make sure she is healthy.

“I make sure I don’t have a fever, I’m not coughing, sweating, lethargic, that I feel OK,” Harris said.  

The essential workers also wear face masks, gloves, wash their hands constantly and sanitize everything before and after they touch it.

“I keep everything sanitized, of course,” Jan Moulden, a caregiver with Right at Home adds, “I keep her pretty much quarantined.”

The caregivers also assess their care recipients, to make sure they are feeling healthy and making sure everyone is safe.

Wilson says Right at Home also provides their clients and staff with the necessary PPE.

If a client were to contract COVID-19, Wilson says the protocol is to contact their doctor, and health department, if needed.

If that care recipient has trouble breathing, they will call an ambulance and get help immediately. Until they are in the care of their physician or a medical professional, the caregiver will stay with their client.

Right at Home clients noting the extra precautions being taken makes them feel safer during this unprecedented time.

“It makes me feel safer when the caregivers wash their hands a lot, sanitize everything — everything that needs that has been touched,” one client said.

Providing a sense of security, truly treating each client like a member of their own family.

“It’s very important because it gets lonely, and when you have a caregiver come in – -she comes, she just talks to you and listens to you,” one client notes, “It’s caring, it’s somebody that cares, and it makes me feel good.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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