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Caregiver shortage amid a pandemic, agencies still hiring

Posted at 4:36 PM, Nov 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 00:16:42-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Nationwide, there's a shortage of caregivers for the aging population; and the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t helped the issue.

“There are caregivers that cannot work because of they have to stay home with their children. They can't their children are not in school or daycares. They are worried for their own health and safety. So they're cutting back their hours or they're no longer working until hopefully this blows over soon,” said Dr. Lydia Tully-Coe, the owner and executive director of Visiting Angels Tucson.

Because the amount of caregivers have decreased, but the hours have increased, living assistance agencies, like Visiting Angels, haven’t stopped hiring.“The caregivers who are working a lot of them are working overtime. We continue to hire to fill those positions that are open, so it's it's a constant need for for for the caregivers, it has not gone away,” said Tully-Coe.

Care facilities were major hot spots in Pima County. When the pandemic first hit, facilities closed their doors to all visitors, even to caregivers who were not working exclusively within the facilities. It wasn’t until a little later when facilities opened the doors to caregivers who worked outside those facilities, but with heavy restrictions.“The facilities were not wanting a lot of different caregivers in there. So the caregivers were going in for long hours at the request of the facility. They were okay with that. But a lot of them have the full you know face shields and mask and the gowns. But you know, it's just a different way of doing business now,” said Tully-Coe.

Tully-Coe says Visiting Angels has always followed CDC guidelines. And now, with hiring amid a pandemic, COVID training has of course been added to the list of preparations.

“I'm grateful that we're keeping people employed and helping people. That's key, not only are we helping people. But we're providing jobs,” said Tully-Coe.

Visiting Angels is looking for qualified caregivers in the Tucson area. Those interested may contact Recruitment Coordinator Lisa Mancini at (520) 579-0099 or apply online.