Now that the dust has begun to settle and our regular routines have started to become somewhat normal again, I want to make sure that the past two weeks at Freedom Home Healthcare are not forgotten.
At Freedom Home Healthcare, we prepared in advance for Hurricane Sandy. We ensured that our clients and caregivers were prepared for the upcoming storm with blankets, water, medication, food and flashlights. We also communicated with family members as well as staff members on how to manage through what we all knew was going to be a difficult time.
During the weekend prior to Hurricane Sandy – up to the day the storm hit – the entire team at Freedom was either at home or in the office. As we all rushed home right before the storm, many of us were not prepared for the magnitude of what later occurred. By that night, it was almost eerily quiet as the winds and rain rushed through our areas.
By Tuesday morning, the storm had passed and the work at Freedom began again. The entire team began the calls and visits to all of our clients and families. Many clients were without power for days, and when food began to spoil, a Freedom representative arrived at their homes with bags of food.
Some clients needed Freedom’s assistance with transferring to various other locations: family homes, assisted living facilities or skilled nursing facilities. However, many of our clients remained in their homes with a Freedom caregiver by their side.
Many of our caregivers remained in the clients’ homes for multiple days until the power was restored and continued to provide comfort and care during a very dark and cold time. Countless numbers of employees sacrificed time with their own families by staying at the homes of their clients and providing reassurance that they would not be left alone. The outpouring of gratitude received has been heartwarming.
Freedom’s drivers waited for hours and even assisted caregivers through blocked roads to ensure that they made it back to their clients’ homes safe. They also transported some of the caregivers who normally take public transportation but were unable to do so for days on end.
As we all drove the streets in our own neighborhoods and towns, street lights were dark, roads were blocked and life seemed to be on pause. I lost power for 12 days, and I know many more are still waiting for their power to return.
Many of my co-workers offered their homes to me and my own family as we anxiously waited for the power to return. It has only just begun that lights are turning on, roads are clearing, gas lines are shorter and towns are coming back to life.
At Freedom Home Healthcare, we all live by the motto, “Whatever it takes.” No matter what level of professional, from upper management to caregiver, it is clear that we all live by this motto every day, even in the worst of times. When times got tough and the world seemed to shut down, Freedom Home Healthcare kept on running.
After Hurricane Sandy, Freedom has grown stronger as a team as well as a company. We survived the storm together and ensured that we were there for those who depend on us.
From the staff at Freedom Home Healthcare, we wish all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy relief and comfort in the days to come.
~ Tara Smith-Keeler