On Lok PACE home care caregivers are an important part of a participants care team. They help with many daily living activities, including light housekeeping, personal care, meal prep, feeding, medication reminders, laundry, escorting to medical appointments, even preparing for van transportation to other healthcare appointments.

During COVID-19, the home care caregiver team at On Lok PACE has taken on greater responsibilities to support its participants, as shelter in place guidelines shifted many center-based activities to the home.

On Lok PACE caregiver, Wei Yan Hua, says it is easy to do whatever needs to be done to support seniors during COVID-19. “The key is to make them feel respected, cared for, and understood,” she says. These values that have guided Wei Yan’s work as an On Lok PACE caregiver for 19 years. “Every senior has different needs,” she adds. “The key is to understand their condition through observation and communication. We listen to them and let them know that we are there to help, and if something appears abnormal, we report it to the medical team so they can follow up.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wei Yan says the caregiver workload has increased. “Participants cannot go to On Lok PACE centers to receive care. Many tasks are now dependent on the caregivers and sometimes we must adjust our schedule to accommodate everything that needs to be done,” she says. “Participants are touched to see us taking risks to care for them. They worry about us, and that bond they feel with us makes our job fulfilling.”

Anna Yu, another caregiver with On Lok PACE, says that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has mastered a lot of skills used as a home care caregiver -- a job she has done for the past seven years. “At the beginning of the pandemic, when certain bus routes were suspended, On Lok’s shuttles were temporarily re-purposed to transport home care workers to minimize contact and avoid the risk of cross-infection.”

“On Lok PACE has placed great importance to hygiene and safety,” she adds. “It provides masks, gloves, protective masks, and disinfectants, and strictly requires that we use them in accordance with safety guidelines. And every month, there is training to update on new equipment and the use of PPE while providing care to seniors during COVID-19.”

Both Wei Yan and Anna love their jobs and are proud to be there to support the seniors they serve during COVID-19. They say the gratitude received from seniors and their families, is the greatest reward. “And, as the Chinese saying goes, a senior at home is like a treasure,” says Anna. “Each of them has their own life experience and we learn a lot from them.”

Original Source: World Journal. Some differences may occur due to translation.