Honoring your caregivers

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Honor Your Caregivers

The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged your community, but instead of buckling, your community has come together. While many groups have stepped forward in incredible ways, your healthcare workers and caregivers played a unique role in the pandemic.

Your community responded generously in the early months of the pandemic to help ensure that caregivers knew they weren’t alone and that the entire community was behind them, lending their support. Your community did this by providing funds for PPE, ensuring that meals were available, and facilitating a transition to allow employees to safely work from home.

We didn’t predict that we’d still be fighting this invisible enemy more than a year after the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Nor did we completely understand the toll it would take on our caregivers.

Now that herd immunity and vaccinations are beginning to have an impact, many hospitals are wanting to get “back to normal” and resume regular operations. 

But your caregivers cannot be expected to transition back overnight — nor is the pandemic completely subsiding!

We often think of our caregivers as heroes, but many do not feel like one. Instead, our caregivers are carrying around a lot of emotional weight from their dedicated and sacrificial efforts. Many are morally injured, continue to feel chaos, and can still feel out of control. Organizations are still learning how to adjust their cultures (and their business plans) to the enormously increased levels of anxiety, stress, and burnout among our caregivers.

At the same time, institutional leaders continue to be stretched for resources. Philanthropy played an important role early in the pandemic to give organizations resources to pivot and adjust to finding ways to support their caregivers. It can do so again. Now, philanthropy can provide critical funds for institutions to create caregiver resilience programs and respite and recovery areas.