National Caregivers Day is a holiday that recognizes and honors all of the hard work and dedication that caregivers offer all year round. It’s a day that’s held on the third Friday of each February and helps to honor the millions of caregivers who work all over the world. There are so many caregivers working, there’s a good chance that everyone who is reading this knows at least one.
In a recent conversation with other small business owners, we were discussing what we thought when COVID-19 hit our communities in NYS in the middle of March.
Aging doesn’t have to be looked down upon, but instead a season that you’ve worked (literally) towards your whole life. Seniors are spending their golden years working, volunteering, and giving back to the community more now than in the last 55 years.
These are Unusual Times
In a recent conversation with other small business owners, we were discussing what we thought when COVID-19 hit our communities in NYS in the middle of March. We all agreed that there was, at the same time, an information deficit and information overload. Universally, we all felt as though we were fighting a virus that we didn’t fully know how to avoid or protect ourselves against.
At Daughter for Hire, our thoughts went to those who depended upon us. Our families, our employees, our elderly clients and our communities. As a company, we had to make some tough decisions in late March. It all came down to, “How do we protect our vulnerable elderly clients and the caregivers who help them?”. In those early days, there was a shortage of PPE to include gloves, hand sanitizer, thermometers and masks. This led us to take a pause to thoughtfully consider protecting those who were depending upon us for help.
While it is challenging to take the time to pause and reset on a normal day, these times were unprecedented and facts to make informed decisions weren’t complete. We took the time to research all possible solutions to safely provide companion care services to the elderly, to keep our clients safe and well cared for in their own homes, as well as to keep our amazing caregivers safe and healthy. However, social distancing was the new catchphrase, and how could we ensure that people including clients, caregivers and the public were adhering to distancing and handwashing standards?
Our short and temporary suspension of services allowed us to take a collective deep breath, acquire the necessary PPE, develop training programs and protocols for our caregivers, communicate with our clients and their families, and develop a written safety plan for our offices and our direct support staff.
For those couple of weeks, we continued to help our clients who needed groceries, medications and necessities, while we sourced protective equipment, and learned how to keep each one of us safe and healthy. As owners, our focus was on the wellbeing of our clients, office staff and our caregivers. Though business dropped off as much as 80% at one point, we knew that we made the difficult decision; the one that hurt us financially, but the one that allowed us to sleep at night.
And now, three months later, as we reflect on what we have been through since March, we have better clarity on who we are and where we’ve been. Our culture at Daughter for Hire has always been kindness towards others, with each other in the office, with people calling who need help, with our caregivers, and with our clients and their families. Doing the right thing early in the pandemic in terms of taking a pause was challenging, however what was reinforced in our minds was that our company mission, vision and values are truly well aligned.
As always, we will do everything we possibly can to keep those around us safe, healthy and happy. We thank our dedicated caregivers for their selflessness and patience. And we thank our precious clients and families for sticking with us through this most difficult time. Our Daughter for Hire family wouldn’t be complete without the trust of our employees, clients, their families, and our communities.
Here’s hoping for a healthy and peaceful second half of 2020. We’re here for you safely and looking forward to seeing you.
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