COVID-19’s invisible heroes: home health aides are hard at work

One teenage home health aide is making a difference in San Antonio, Texas. In the United States alone,…

One teenage home health aide is making a difference in San Antonio, Texas.

In the United States alone, there are almost 2.3 million home health aides taking care of 6 million individuals, including the elderly and people who have health issues that give them challenges with daily tasks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, in-home caregivers are more important than ever.

One of these caregivers is 18-year-old Hannah Pearson.

Pearson had nearly completed her EMT course before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. She was planning to balance college and EMT work, using her earnings from the latter to help her afford the former. The EMT job would also be a suitable precursor to her dream job: working as a doctor in the emergency room.

This career goal is in part driven by her family’s experiences with the little-understood nerve disease complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Pearson’s mother has struggled with CRPS, and Pearson herself had it. She is currently in remission.

When the novel coronavirus meant the closure of Pearson’s EMT course, Pearson started work as a home health aide with San Antonio’s Right at Home organisation. There is now more demand than ever for home health aides because of concerns about the coronavirus spreading in shared care homes.

So, Hannah Pearson and millions of other caregivers are hard at work giving care to people who need it.

Like a doctor or a nurse, home caregivers are essential right now, but unlike doctors and nurses, their efforts are mostly going unnoticed without much attention or acclaim from the public.

Pearson is going above and beyond her job description, too. To help her clients from an emotional standpoint in addition to a medical standpoint, she baked ten cookie batches in June and delivered the cookies to clients when she was off the clock.

The cookie deliveries were made in an effort to mitigate some of the isolation clients were feeling:

I knew they had no outside contact during the pandemic and none of their families could come see them.

Hannah Pearson

But Pearson doesn’t self-identify as a hero, and she doesn’t need external commendation. For the noble caregiver, just doing the work is enough for her:

I’m just helping people, and that is its own reward.

Hannah Pearson

Article source: San Antonio Express-News

Featured image source: Kin Man Hui

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