As we begin to awaken from COVID–19, I would like to recognize a group of special champions in our community: Essential workers.
When we typically think about heroes, we think of someone who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through feats of courage, strength and ingenuity.
What could possibly be more dignified than lovingly supporting people who need assistance with daily living? What could be more kind and gracious than helping those that need it most? Please accept the deepest of gratitude. You know who you are, and you know that you do so much to help individuals, families and society. You are the heart of the community, and I am so thankful for each of you.
I also would like to recognize professional and family caregivers who cared for someone during the pandemic.
Caregivers must bring the qualities of courage, strength, resilience, creativity and patience. They face all kinds of adversity during an average year. We know that 2020 and 2021 so far have not been average in any way. The pandemic offered perhaps the most formidable opponent of a lifetime.
Caregivers needed to know how to be empathetic while skillfully finding a proactive way to make any circumstance better. Caregivers demonstrated cool and calm in the most dangerous of storms. They offered compassionate care, generous attention and selfless outlooks on keeping people safe and healthy.
In many ways, the pandemic brought out the best in essential workers and caregivers. They were put to the test, and I am in awe of how they completed the task with the utmost passion. It was this group of very talented and calm healers that were able to be counted upon when needed.
I am forever grateful for their influence, skill and compassion. They were fierce advocates that demonstrated creativity, resilience and hope. I admire and respect each of you.
My prayer for essential workers is that every act of kindness and grace that you offered the community will boomerang back to you.
Laura Nissen is an Alzheimer’s Association volunteer who enjoys advocating for those with memory disorders. She works with families to help them learn the skills of caregiving. She also enjoys serving as a community educator, caregiver support group leader and Memory Café leader for the Alzheimer’s Association.