MERIDEN — Home health care agencies are seeing rising demand for services amid the pandemic as elderly clients’ need for in home assistance increases.
Christina Caro started 13 years ago as a visiting nurse at Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care before being invited to join the then newly formed Franciscan Ever There Care. In 2019, the Meriden resident was named director of the agency — which has actually flourished during the pandemic due to the growing needs of individuals and families who want to remain in their own homes.
Ever There Care offers homemakers and companions, personal care attendants and live in aides. The non-profit agency is described as a spiritual extension of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. The organization reports filling a void for seniors coping with the health risks, fear and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think that fear levels are greater,” Sister Suzanne Gross said, “and if we can be an assuring presence, with the care we give, assuring that we give that in a safe way...I think they need spiritual comfort because there’s uncertainty wherever they go.”
Being inside another person’s home of reveals vulnerability that requires support and reverence. Being so close can often mean residents put more trust in the nursing staff who visit them, Gross said.
For Caro, 36, home care is a lifelong calling. She chose nursing as a career after growing up in Meriden with a chronically ill grandmother and mother.
Gross described Caro as an “outstanding employee” who has risen through the ranks of the agency.
Caro says her co-workers have been like a second family.
"There's no place I'd rather be," she said. "When you've had that much support that wants to facilitate growth for you personally, it's a win-win. You can't lose."