Answering the "call to care" >> How you can help your community in a crisis

Posted: 4/23/2020 8:00 AM by Interim HealthCare
We're watching the news, reading the headlines and scrolling through social media. We're in an unprecedented, challenging time in our history, and we simultaneously have access to more information than ever before. 

As we read stories, watch newscasts and scroll through pictures and videos on social media, many of us have been inspired by the kindness, caring and contributions of others. Amidst fear and concern, our friends, family and neighbors are rising to the challenge, caring for themselves while simultaenously caring for others. It's inspiring, to say the very least!

How you can answer the "call to care" right now

With all this inspiration around us, you may feel compelled to help. And yet, with so much inspiration there is also confusion. How can you help? What's the best way to contribute? 

Here are some ways you can help your community get through this crisis:

Offer to shop or cook meals for at-risk individuals.

Whether it's an older neighbor, or your friend with an immuno-compromised child, there are millions of people across the United States who are at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19. These individuals may not feel comfortable safely leaving their house to pick up prescriptions or groceries. A simple way you can help is by offering to pick up extra groceries or cook healthy meals. If you're already heading out to the store, adding a few staples to your shopping cart can make a big difference. And throwing some leftovers in Tupperware for an older neighbor or family member can help keep them safe and healthy.

If you're not going to the store either, you can still help older loved ones or those who are otherwise at risk. Many older adults aren't as tech savvy as you may be -- offering to order groceries using Instacart, Prime Now or other services is a wonderful way to help. Similarly, ordering takeout using DoorDash, GrubHub or UberEats is an easy way to help without having to leave your house. 

Pay attention to recommendations in your area -- and heed them.

Perhaps the simplest way to show you care and help your community is to stay on top of local, state and national recommendations. If your area is sheltering in place or requiring masks when you go out, follow their recommendations. Experts agree that these measures are helping to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and can help "flatten the curve," allowing our healthcare system to more adequately provide care to sick patients suffering from COVID-19.

Research suggests that asymptomatic carriers of the virus can pass it to others without knowing they are infected. That means if you are out without a mask or following other recommendations, you could get strangers, family and/or friends sick. By simply following recommendations, you are helping to stem the tide and keep everyone safe.

Give blood.

If you are healthy and able, consider donating blood. The American Red Cross and other organizations are reporting a shortage in blood as many are staying home. Blood donations help save the lives of critically-ill patients every day, and donations are essential. Contact your local Red Cross or other donation site for specifics, but if you are otherwise healthy, your donation could safe a life.

Alternatively, many hospitals are using antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients as a treatment for seriously ill patients with the infection. Research suggests that the antibodies may help sick patients battle the infection (although since this virus is so new, doctors are not certain and this could change). If you have recovered from COVID-19, you may be able to donate plasma and help others who are sick. 

Donate to food banks. 

Food banks are struggling with volunteer and donation shortages. With most Americans sheltering in place, those who need a little extra help putting food on the table are relying more than ever on food bank and nonprofit organizations. From dropping off donations to volunteering where you can (Meals on Wheels and other nonprofits also need drivers to drop off meals for seniors and others in need), no act is too small. If you're not sure who needs help in your area, check local Facebook groups or even call your local news station and ask for insight.

Become a caregiver.

Millions of older Americans need help with everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning and personal care. Home care providers like Interim HealthCare serve as a lifeline for these patients, helping them stay happy and healthy at home. But, with family and friends sheltering in place or potentially putting their loved ones at risk, at-home caregivers are more important than ever. If you're looking for work, seeking a career change or simply want to step up and help those who are in need, consider becoming a professional caregiver. To search for caregiver jobs at your nearest Interim HealthCare location, visit our Careers page.