We are truly grateful for the dedication and self-sacrifice our community’s healthcare workers have shown during this unprecedented time of COVID-19. The following was written about a personal experience by a dear friend of the Blue Orange family and how those on the front lines in nursing homes are giving their hearts and souls to their residents.

There are no clap outs and accolades for the health care workers at nursing homes.  Yet I have never met a more dedicated group of true heroes.

I was on Zoom with a loved one’s nursing home & resident families concerning COVID-19 today.

Staff are working double shifts to fill in for coworkers.  Nurses are responsible for janitorial duties in addition to their jobs in isolation units.  Residents they love and care for every day are getting very sick.  Their coworkers are contracting COVID-19.

Every able body in administration is training for the 8-day STNA certificate (to be a nurse’s aide) to help directly care for residents.  Staff who never applied to physically care for residents are choosing to be trained to help with tasks that are both dangerous to themselves and their families as well as physically and for some personally challenging. 

Nursing home employees are the only direct physical contact residents can have inside their facilities right now. Yet when we go to wave at our loved one thru the window, whoever from inside comes to open the blind, smiles and enjoys our resident’s company truly and takes the time to assure us they are there for her.  Never has the true connection between the staff and residents been so apparent or important.

These nurses, aides, food service, physical therapists, admin etc. are exhausted and scared.  But most of all, they are devastated. 

On Zoom I witnessed, tears and swollen faces, dark circles beneath determined, caring eyes indignant to be both condemned and shunned while their residents (who they spend 8-16 hours a day caring for) are at severe risk, as they are themselves and their own families by the sheer nature of their jobs.  But still these amazing angels return daily to the nursing home working longer hours as the virus spreads at their workplace.  

Please support your local nursing homes and especially their staff at this incredibly challenging time.  These dedicated, loving humans are doing more than you could ever imagine keeping the older folks in our community that are too sick for us to safely care for at home, alive, safe, happy, feeling loved and comfortable, at great risk to themselves.