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Seniors Helping Seniors Southwest Florida awaits vaccine for caregivers and patients

Posted at 11:19 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 23:23:40-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — In life when loved ones in our families reach a certain age, sometimes we are unable to give them the care they need, so many call on home health care providers. However, here in Southwest Florida Seniors Helping Seniors does just that, hiring employees who are the same age as their patients.

“We do everything from homemaker companion services, which includes like meal preparation, social interaction, giving them rides, doing light chores around the home. We also can provide A.D.L, activities of daily living by nurses' aides that are trained and certified to do that level of services,” said Evan Zelden, Co-owner, Seniors Helping Seniors Southwest Florida.

Evan Zelden says this pandemic has been tough on his business, but now he works tirelessly trying to get his seniors vaccinated.

“So, it's very frustrating for our customers, the general public, and our caregivers that are essential caregivers, they’re providing essential services so these people can live to be able to get vaccines, it's very frustrating for them,” said Zelden.

Zelden says some of his employees are under 65, but those who aren’t, are having trouble getting an appointment because, while they are caregivers, they are lumped in with the general public. He says having employees and customers who are both high risk and not vaccinated, puts everyone in danger of catching the virus.

“They're going into multiple individuals' homes on a daily basis and potentially getting exposed to getting sick also,” said Zelden.

While Zelden believes everyone should have access to the vaccine, he simply wants caregivers and those receiving in-home care to become a priority as well.

“Because they are interacting with so many people they deserve to be prioritized and that is very important and right now they aren’t all prioritized, home care, caregivers are not prioritized to receive the vaccine,” said Zelden.

Right now, the only people eligible to get the vaccines are those 65 and older, front-line health care workers, along with residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Governor Ron Desantis says he expects to lower the age to qualify for a vaccine next month. For more information on Seniors Helping Seniors be sure to visit their website at seniorcaresouthwestflorida.com