Transitions With Jean Blog

Workers at senior communities deserve our thanks

May 2, 2021

A message to all the workers at our senior communities: Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!

Looking in from the outside, we really don’t know what you have been through this past year. You were hit with challenges that none of us can imagine.

You might think it has been a thankless job. You are wrong. Let me thank you from the bottom of my soul.

During the time when everything was unknown, you hung in there. You had conflicting information about this horrid disease that was claiming the lives of so many seniors. Still, you hung in there. You masked up, sanitized until your skin cracked and bled. You were there for our moms, our dads, our grandparents when we couldn’t be.

To all the staff who made a commitment to keeping our family members safe by missing your own family gatherings, so you could help keep the virus out of our parents’ buildings: thank you.

To the cleaning people who worked twice as hard to make sure every inch of the community was disinfected, only to do it all over again four hours later: thank you.

To the CNAs, the caregivers, and the nurses; your love and dedication to our folks has been special. You offered to do a double shift so our grandparents would see familiar faces instead of outside staff. We appreciate it.

To the other team members who stepped out of their regular roles and stretched their abilities to help anywhere they were needed: thank you.
There were times that you were short-staffed due to illness or quarantining. You worked all that much harder. Thank you.

Then, there is that PPE, personal protective equipment. Ugh. When I need to wear a mask for an hour, I hate it and can’t wait to pull it off. You wore heavier masks, added a face shield, glasses, gown, cap, and foot coverings, and kept it all on sometimes for even a sixteen-hour shift. Then, you went back the next day and did it again. One gal told me that when she took hers off, she was soaked with sweat. Miserable. Thank you.

When someone suspected that they had been exposed to the virus, and you would have to drop everything and start in with the protocol of who had been in contact with them, who needs to get quarantined and who needed to be tested. Then you had to wait for results. You had your patience tested daily.

Speaking of patience, thank you to the administrators. Likely, some family members gave you grief over your policies that might have changed several times in one week, as new information came from the CDC. You stayed with the science, never second-guessing the experts nor putting your own spin on things. I know you always made your choices while staying steadfast to your goal of keeping all your residents safe.

I was probably a pain sometimes, asking questions (although, I tried hard not to be), but you never wavered. You firmly made decisions day after day to keep Mom safe. Thank you.

Even when things were at their darkest, you held up the lantern of hope for all of us.

We knew our moms felt your smiles when they were scared. We knew our dads were watched over when we couldn’t be there ourselves.
We all went through this battle together, but you were on the front lines, while we watched from outside the windows.

Yes, the war isn’t over yet, but we are winning more battles. We finally have the vaccine. What a difference it has made already.

Keep up the good work.

Hopefully, the day is just around the corner when we can come and go freely and safely. In the meantime, hold your head up high knowing that you were brave, strong, did your best, and saved lives.

Thank you.

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