Editor:

My name is Amy Mata. I am a social worker by profession but also a concerned citizen regarding the pandemic we are faced with. Back in February when I first saw the news regarding coronavirus, I really paid it no attention because, as a United States citizen, I truly believed that ‘it would be solved’ or ‘taken care of’ by the upper hierarchies such as the government or CDC.  

There was no way that a third-world pandemic could invade our beautiful and amazing country. For thinking that way, being so ignorant, I am now ashamed, but I am putting the needs of others — the most vulnerable — the aging population ahead of mine and advocating for them. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 there were 3.8 million people in Texas age 60 and older; they made up approximately 15 percent of the total Texas population of 25 million. They are one of the fastest -growing populations in Texas. According to the same census, Refugio has a population of approximately 7,383 with 23.3% of that being people 65 years and up. That percentage is alarming because who will take care of them, especially with the pandemic? 

Many are living alone, as their families have moved away or have their own career/life to worry about. With all the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, this is an understandable and important question. Yet any consideration of a move should not be taken lightly, especially with so many unknowns about the future.

Now more than ever with the pandemic, our older loved ones need us. 

Our older loved ones have been more vulnerable to the physical effects of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean those are the only effects we should be concerned about. As people all around the world are learning, being stuck at home can affect one’s mental, emotional and physical health too.

The amazing heroes in this pandemic are all the hard-working medical professionals and essential workers. One profession that has gained less attention but is providing a critical service to older adults and their families, is aging life care managers.

We know that older adults are more at risk during this pandemic — both physically and mentally. As more elderly face risk of catching COVID-19, and if your loved one is struggling at home, in a nursing home or other continuing care facility, an aging life care manager can help. As professional care managers (aging life care professionals), when we take on clients, we are 100% committed to them, their wellness, helping them to reach their goals, being there for them and their families through all their difficult times. Aging life care managers are highly educated and credentialed professionals who take on the role of a health and human services specialist.

As experts in aging and disability, we help seniors and their families navigate the challenges of aging. We belong to the non-profit Aginglifecare.org where people may access and find valuable local aging care managers.

Amy Mata

 

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