The unprecedented winter storm and power outages that hampered Texas last week presented challenges for home care workers. Locals news reports since have emerged of caregivers going out of their way to reach clients.
Texas Home Care Partners in Austin said some of its caregivers stayed at clients’ homes, taking shifts with family members to ensure client care. Encompass Health’s workers throughout the state who were unable to remotely check in with clients, meanwhile, used four-wheel-drive vehicles to reach their clients, while other workers actually walked to their clients’ homes. Other examples of workers overcoming weather-related challenges included a licensed practical nurse in Tyler, TX, who met with a pharmacist at a closed pharmacy to get medication for a diabetic patient; and a therapist in Cleburne, TX, who after discovering that a patient didn’t have access to water worked with the local police department to have a case of water delivered.
“It’s not easy, and it takes a village for sure,” Brenda Riordan, executive vice president of strategic operations for Encompass Health’s home health and hospice division, told a local news outlet. “Certainly, we never want to go through a disaster, but when we do, we learn every time. Storms and disasters bring the worst situations but also the spirit of healthcare. We have so many people out there who are healthcare heroes.”