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Toledo news, weather, traffic and sports | Toledo, Ohio, | wtol.com

Home healthcare workers battling same COVID-19 challenges on the home frontline

Home healthcare workers are seeing an increased need for at-home treatment as people are cautious about heading to hospitals for their medical needs.

MONROE, Mich. — Public officials continue to emphasize the heroic work our frontline hospital workers are doing to keep everyone safe. 

But the frontline extends beyond the hospital.

"Over the last several months, our job has definitely been more demanding and definitely more stressful," Ohioans Home Healthcare nurse Paige Adair said.

Adair said COVID-19 has definitely increased the need for at-home services. And while she's not on the hospital frontline, she says her and her team are on a frontline of their own.

"You know we fear for our patients as well as fearing that we bring this home to our families," she said.

Paige stressed she's seeing a lot more patients opting for in home treatment rather than going to a hospital.

"I've actually had patients that I advised them to treat medical treatment in an ER," she explained. "And they told me that they were afraid to step into an ER. And I had to really lay out those pros and cons."

Bob Baltrip lives in Monroe and is recovering from heart bypass surgery. He's never used home healthcare service before but said Paige has been vital in keeping him and others safe.

"To think of what they're doing, being the hands and the feet for the doctors, and helping them in that way," he said.

Paige noted with so many at-risk patients being asked to stay home, she's become more than just a nurse.

"I'm more than just a nurse to some of my patients," she said. "I have to sometimes wear the hat of daughter or granddaughter because we are separated from our families and there is that emotional connection a lot deeper than there was before."

Frontline workers are getting burnt out. But Paige says they're resilient and will get through this because it's all about protecting everyone.

"I don't think we're seeing an end in sight anytime soon," she said. "I think we're going to continue to rise to the challenge and we're going to try to be as safe as we can to serve our patients and our community."