COA steps in after closing of adult day program during pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked many worlds, including the lives of Suzie and Priscilla. Suzie, 53, is the primary caregiver for her 69-year-old mother, Priscilla. Priscilla’s recent stroke meant she needed continuous care and help moving around – sometimes using a wheelchair.

 

Beginning in 2019, when she enrolled in the Clinton County Elderly Services Program (ESP), Priscilla went to adult day care while her daughter was at working her job in customer service.  

When the pandemic began in March, adult day centers closed and Priscilla had nowhere to go. That meant Suzie couldn’t work. She became her mother’s full-time caretaker, in the home they shared in Wilmington.  

From March to July, Suzie and Priscilla existed with no income. But, five months after their struggles began, Suzie was scheduled to return to work. With adult day services still closed, she desperately needed somewhere for her mom to stay during the day.  

“I couldn’t leave my mom,” Suzie said, choking up. “She’s been my rock. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for me, and I owe her that, too.”

 

Suzie turned to her mother’s ESP care manager, Carla, who went above and beyond the call of duty and was able to secure an aide to stay with Priscilla in her home six hours per day, four days per week. Suzie’s job has been flexible and she does not work on Fridays so she can be with her mom.   

Suzie is beyond grateful. “You have been amazing. There is no way I could have done this without you. You have jumped in and helped us through a very difficult time. Carla has been awesome; she calls all the time to check on us – just to see if we’re OK. You just don’t get that anymore.”