WASHINGTON — Three Washington women traveled to New York in November, volunteering their time to help hundreds of disabled and geriatric patients displaced by Superstorm Sandy.
Through a program called ResCare on Call (ROC), Jillian Davis, clinical supervisor for ResCare, and Christine Jones and Tina King, ResCare direct support professionals, went to Brooklyn and Queens. From Nov. 15 through Nov. 20 the three sanitized bathrooms; gave showers to clients, some of whom hadn’t showered since Halloween; found clients hygiene products and other supplies, provided by the American Red Cross; served food; made beds; and various other tasks.
“We went to Brooklyn first, to Park Slope Armory,” King said. “Then we went to Queens, to York College.”
Davis explained many of the clients live in a nursing facility that was completely flooded by the superstorm. She said the entire first floor had to be torn out and rebuilt because of water damage, and large crews were working nonstop to get repairs made so the clients could go back home. Meanwhile, they were being housed at the armory and the college.
“At Queens it was mostly psychologically impaired and homeless people,” Davis said, describing the diverse clientele with which they worked. “In Brooklyn it was mostly geriatric and some homeless individuals with psychological issues being taken care of there.”
Davis and Jones and King agreed everything was well organized and ran smoothly. The ResCare volunteers worked with volunteers from Red Cross, FEMA and an environmental group. They said volunteers were stationed at various areas, such as the sleeping area, showers, bathrooms, food area and nurses’ station.
“If anyone was overstimulated, they had a quiet area set up with a therapist to talk to each one privately,” Davis said.
There was a doctor on site, according to Jones, and there was medically trained staff available to handle issues such as putting in feeding tubes and catheters.