Even before the coronavirus, caregiving had become Sade Dozan’s every day.
About a year and a half ago, her parents moved close by to help Dozan, 30, and her husband, Michael, with their infant daughter in New Jersey. But soon after, her 69-year-old mother suffered a major cardiac arrest and, as she was recovering, was hit with a cancer diagnosis. Over the course of a year, Dozan said, “My daughter went from having a grandmother that was there to watch her and support her, to me being a full-time caregiver for both my daughter and my mother.”
Dozan had been helping her mother take showers, go to the bathroom and acclimate to her wheelchair — but, worried that she could be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus, Dozan felt she had to suspend their in-person interactions.
She’s been doing Zoom calls with her father and her mother’s care team to decide whether it’s worth the risk for physical therapists or nurses to come to their house. They had to determine, also over Zoom, whether complications after her mother’s recent surgery were severe enough to hazard an X-ray at a hospital admitting patients with coronavirus.
Woerner, 47, lives outside Philadelphia, and before the pandemic, she would travel two or three times a week to Annapolis, Md., to help care for her 80-year-old father, who is in assisted living, and her 99-year-old grandmother, who lives in an independent-living apartment in a retirement community. Woerner’s children, ages 12 and 14, are now continuing school from home, and Woerner is making care packages of homemade cards, printed photos of the grandkids, and some of her father and grandmother’s favorite items that they can’t get in their facilities. Zoom is too complicated for them, so they talk on the phone.