What Have You Been Doing During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

What have you been doing during the COVID 19 pandemic?

My kids used to sing a song, "Everyday I'm hustlin'....." That about sums it up.

The country is beginning it's re-opening and we at Right at Home could not be happier. It has been scary out here in COVID-19 land in Boston and the surrounding areas, but we are so grateful to Governor Charlie Baker and Massachusetts leadership in the face of one of the biggest challenges of my generation. As a GenX person and native New Yorker, I lived through 9/11 as a working person who worked in Boston, NYC and Washington DC. As owner of Right at Home Salem and Marblehead, I had to navigate what we did as a company in the 2008 and 2009 financial downturn. I also came from the tech field a million years ago and had to navigate in the dot-com bust of the late 90's early/ 2000's. I rode that up and I rode that down. It was not fun on the way down.

group of right at home boston north staff holding Christmas presents
The Right at Home Office Team before COVID-19

Now here I am as the leader of a wonderful healthcare organization in the middle of a pandemic in an urban area. This has been, and I believe will continue to be the challenge of my working life. My team is stronger, wiser and more compassionate than it has ever been, based on our experiences over the last 9 weeks.

Right at Home Salem Marblehead and the surrounding areas had decided that we were not going to work from home. We could not in good conscience. We were supporting over 300 CareTeam workers in the field keeping over 1,000 seniors safe at home. The CareTeam needed PPE, which became increasingly hard to source and almost impossible at times. Thanks to Right at Home corporate in Omaha, local health departments, local distilleries making hand sanitizer and the community making cloth masks we got through that rough time.

The CareTeam needed a kind word and leadership, showing them that we weren't afraid, even if we were. We had a panic attack-a-day internally because we were all afraid.....I have to say my office team at Right at Home along with the CareTeam are the bravest folks I know. We put into effect disinfection protocols, we social distanced and moved desks, we limited contact between CareTeam and office staff, we moved to ZOOM interviews for those that wanted to come to us, we delivered PPE to people's homes, we created a COVID-19 conference call EVERYDAY to track any positive tests in our client base or workforce. We scheduled tests for any staff that exhibited symptoms, nurses continually called every client to screen for symptoms and make sure they had enough to eat, office staff called all CareTeam continually to make sure they were well and had everything they needed. I created a COVID-19 Townhall for our team to educate them on COVID and transmission. Nursing and management developed all the COVID 19 protocols so that we could deliver services to those who were positive for the virus, but were recovering at home. To the RightTeam and the CareTeam we gave Adversity bonuses and Heroes bonuses and laid out a thousand thank-yous. Whoosh!

To say the least, we are exhausted. In March, Right at Home delivered services to 1,024 individual clients and in April we delivered services to 886. The dropoff happened because our clients with "non-essential" services, like homemaking, dropped off our census until the panic ended. We did 848 nursing visits in April. Today, we are one of the few private care agencies in the area that is taking care of COVID19 positive clients and helping them recover at home with RN oversight and experienced CareTeam. The new Condition Recovery Specialist team is made up of CNA's, LPN's and RN's serving clients who are COVID19 positive but have been discharged from the hospital.

Right at Home Salem Marblehead is open for business....though we are in our 19th year, we have to say that we have become a different agency than we were before. We have become COVID-19 senior home care specialists. Stay safe! -Rosaleen Doherty

Contact Us
Rosaleen Doherty
Share this resource

Need help right now? Call us anytime at

(978) 744-5151