For seniors living alone at home, daily visits from a home care nurse or aide is not just a luxury; in many cases, it is a medical necessity. As the storm blocked access to buildings and knocked out power in many neighborhoods, seniors with complex care needs — and especially those living on the upper floors of New York apartments — were especially vulnerable.
This article in yesterday’s New York Times told the stories of nurses and nurse aides from several area agencies, including the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, who are now being aptly recognized as heroes and lifesavers. These dedicated professional carers risked their own lives to get to the patients who were depending on them (many of these direct care workers earn little more than minimum wage).
One nurse spent 3 hours on a bus and walked more than 14 flights of stairs to get to patients, one of whom has cancerous tumors on his leg that require “daily medical attention.” According to the article, “more than 5,000 nurses, aides, social workers and others were out serving patients around the city during and after the storm.”
If you have opted to bring in home care services for a senior friend or family member, be sure to thank your care provider today for the important work they do — even if you don’t live in an area affected by Sandy.