by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer
Social distancing. Infection risk. Quarantines.
The news during this pandemic has been enough to make your head spin.
Fear has been prominent no matter who you listen to and nearly everyone agrees – at least for now – it’s probably a good idea to just stay home.
For more than 30 years, Diana Hendrix worked in nursing home administration. She understands that life does go on and she also understands vulnerable populations.
That’s why six years ago she started Guardian Angels Concierge Service.
Little did she know that her business one day would be saving lives.
“Most of my seniors are pretty concerned. They don’t want to get sick,” she said. “They don’t understand why all this is happening but they still don’t want to get sick and don’t want their families to get sick.”
That’s where Guardian Angels comes in, to provide essential services during this time. Grocery shopping, light housekeeping and cooking still remain essential and Hendrix and her staff are able to provide those services.
”The one thing I’m trying to get out there is don’t be afraid to call us. Just because this is happening in the world if you need help call us,” Hendrix said. “I can do a certain amount of interviewing on the phone and pulling things together without actually being with a client. But even when I do have to see a client we’re very protective.”
In business since 2014, Hendrix brings her healthcare administration experience to her clients.
“I thought there would be a better way to help our seniors but I didn’t want to do any nursing. There are plenty of nurses out there and home health agencies. So I started out grocery shopping and making sure seniors ate and took their medicine.”
Grocery shopping and cooking was the easy part of.
Per regulations, Hendrix isn’t allowed to administer medication to clients but she can be there to remind her patients when they’re due.
The big thing I try to do for every family is try to find a solution for whatever is going on in their life,” Hendrix said.
As most non-essential stores have closed, errands are fewer for Hendrix.
“We’re still doing a lot of cooking which we do a lot of breakfasts, sandwiches for lunch and we do a great deal of crockpot and casserole cooking so clients can have them several days,” Hendrix said.
Hendrix and her staff are still able to still walk pets and provide other services just on a limited basis.
“We’re not taking any of our furry friends to the vet right now,” she said. “The vet I use is saying unless it’s an emergency we’re not really going into the vets.”
Another service is escorting patients to doctor’s appointments, which has taken on a new look.
“What they’re doing is they’re saying stay in your car and we’ll call you when the doctor is ready to see you,” Hendrix said. “They’re saying the fewer the better. They’ll take my client’s temperature, escort them into the doctor’s office and turn around and bring them back to the car.”
“They’re not wanting people to be in the waiting room at all.”
Things may look different but Hendrix and her staff are getting things done in this new normal.
“We’re trying our hardest not to go to stores. We’re doing as much as we can online,” said Hendrix.
Shoe coverings are donned before going into a client’s homes as well as gloves and sanitizing wipes.
Right now, the largest service is Hendrix is fulfilling is home organization including down-size packing. Regular housekeeping and laundry is also offered.
“When I started to look at the governor’s list to see if we were necessary,” she said. “The reason we fell into that essential spot was that if we didn’t come the client would not be able to do it. Picking up a load of laundry is hard for clients who use a walker or wheelchair. Making their bed, running a vacuum cleaner are things they need help with to stay at home.”
As the quarantine wanes on, Hendrix has noted her regular clients call more often.
But Hendrix and her staff are still there and talking with clients and reminiscing with them, brighten their days as they go along.
“It’s amazing I’m talking to them almost every day and I’m telling my staff to make sure you give them a call,” Hendrix said. “Those that started out with me … they’re still calling me.”
“I commend every administrator out there because I know they have a hard job.”
You can find out more about Guardian Angels online at guardianangelsokc.com or on Facebook.