The COVID pandemic has stretched on longer than anyone could have expected, and it has done much more than affect us physically.
With thousands of families being required to stay apart for their own safety, many of us are mentally suffering as a result of being unable to see our loved ones.
Families who have an elderly mom or dad in care are suffering more than most.
Oftentimes, arranging for an elderly parent to go into care is morally the right thing to do, especially if the parent is dealing with a health condition like Alzheimer’s.
The Ryans are a family who had made the difficult decision for 90-year-old mom Theresa to stay in an assisted living home after her dementia diagnosis.
COVID has proved especially difficult for dementia sufferers, who like being able to follow a routine, and find video calling technology confusing.
Not being able to see their families because of the risk of the virus spreading is something that many dementia sufferers have found difficult to comprehend.
Theresa’s daughter hated the thought of her mom feeling alone, and was desperate to find a way to see her in person.
MJ, of Norton, Boston, knew that only employees were allowed to enter her mom’s nursing home. So she took the only step she could think of – she asked if there were any jobs going.
Speaking to CBS Local, MJ recalled that the nursing home didn’t have any full-time vacancies, but added:
“Then they said, ‘But we do have one night in the laundry room; 3-11 on Thursdays.’ I said bingo!”
MJ had been a healthcare professional for many years prior to this, so she knew she’d fit right into the role.
So she didn’t hesitate to take the job, and got to see her mom properly for the first time in months.
MJ looked back on the special evening she had spent with her mom, saying:
“By the end of the evening she was laughing and talking about going to the casino. She really came back. I said this is worth the laundry.”
And MJ knows her mom is proud of her resilliance when it came to seeing her, too. According to MJ, Theresa’s favorite quote is “there’s always an alternate route”, or “when something gets in your way, find a way around it”.
That’s exactly what MJ was able to do, thanks to her lucky Thursday afternoon laundry shift!
Doing the laundry might not sound like the job of dreams, but for MJ, getting to see her mom makes it all worth it.
She also said that working at the nursing home has given her a new respect for the healthcare and essential workers who assist the residents on a day-to-day basis.
“The true heroes do this work every day. It’s amazing the hard work people do. Without laundry and housekeeping and maintenance and all the other people who showed up all through this crisis too and continue to show up and risk their own health and family’s health. The whole group of them are unbelievable.”
She couldn’t have said it better! We’re all incredibly grateful for the care workers who consistently go above and beyond to support others during these difficult times.
For an in-person interview with MJ, scroll down and click “play” on the video below.
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