CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Most of the Nation’s focus on personal protective equipment has been on health care workers in hospitals and first responders, but another group hasn’t received much attention … in-home care providers.
“Demand for in-home services has gone up because of the people not being able to get to the doctor’s office for multiple reasons,” says State Senator Ron Stollings, (D – Boone).
State senator and physician, Ron Stollings, tells 13 News he has heard from a number of in-home care workers saying – they’re scared.
“The concern is the in-home caregivers: one, has not been able to be tested (and) two, are going to several homes a day,” adds Stollings.
They are also struggling to get enough personal protective equipment to keep up with their caseloads.
“We have made our own masks, we have provided masks for our patients we follow the CDC instructional … we’ve made it, bought the materials my staff has dedicated after hours and weekends,” Donna Skeen, CEO of Loved One’s In-Home Personal Care and Nursing.
But with nearly 550 workers who go into multiple patients’ homes per day that equals a lot of PPE, which they are struggling to get despite caring for the most high-risk population.
13 News asked Pam Miller, registered nurse and director of case management for Loved Ones in-home care, what would happen if their workers couldn’t care for their patients:
“I believe that you would have a lot of people who would die because they depend on us not only to get a bath but to get a meal help them in and out of the beds they have people that are bedfast. If we aren’t going to take care of these people who is going to?” Miller said.
That question is at the top Miller’s list along with ‘where is the money coming into the state going if not to them’?