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Our Direct Support Staff are True Heroes

By Ed Picchiarini

Ed PicchiariniWe, at Arc Human Services, hope that everyone had a wonderful and joyous holiday season, even if the COVID pandemic changed the way we celebrated, and how much time we spent with friends and family.
In our effort to support people with disabilities in their homes, at their jobs, and in their community, we are always committed to assuring their health and safety each day. We are able to provide these important services only because of the work of our caring, committed Direct Support Staff. They are nurturers, cooks, medical assistants, drivers, homemakers, counselors, friends, house cleaners, decorators, game enthusiasts, and for our staff, it’s all in a day’s work.

For the past 10 months of COVID-19, these HEROES, not only support the individuals that we serve, but also take care of their own children, spouses, parents and other family members that need them. Their children are home from school—or homeschooling, they are assisting elderly parents by preparing meals and making sure that they receive medical care, while distancing themselves to keep everyone safe.
Just as nurses, doctors, police, and first responders, our Direct Support Staff are truly essential workers, we cannot imagine the tragedies that would befall people with disabilities, if our staff were not able to continue to provide the ESSENTIAL support that people need.

Now that we are embedded in the depth of winter, with short, cold days and less sun, we encourage everyone, as we take care of others, to always remember to take the time to care for yourself.

The CDC suggests “Healthy ways to cope with stress”:

  • Know where and how to get treatment and other support services and resources, including counseling or therapy (in person or through telehealth services).
  • Take care of your body.
    • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate
    • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
    • Exercise regularly.
    • Get plenty of sleep.
    • Avoid excessive alcohol and drug use.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations. While social distancing measures are in place, consider connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.

There are not enough words to adequately express our gratitude to “the people who serve” the people we serve. Except to say, with the deepest sincerity, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

Ed Picchiarini is Chief Executive Officer at Arc Human Services.

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