NEWARK, Ohio (WCMH) — Staff members at two local assisted living facilities are back in their own homes after going the extra mile for their residents.
They had been living at the facilities to lessen the chance of bringing COVID-19 into the facilities.
For more than two months, the residents at SharonBrooke Assisted Living in Newark and the Chapel Grove Inn in Heath weren’t the only ones living there.
Between the two Licking County buildings, 44 staff members moved in on March 12 and didn’t know when they’d be leaving.
“It just got longer and longer, but everyone just kept going every day, knowing the reason we were doing it,” said Amy Twyman, executive director for The Inn at SharonBrooke and Chapel Grove Inn. “We love our residents and we just wanted them to be safe.”
They did it to keep COVID-19 out. Twyman said copy rooms and offices became bedrooms with air mattresses.
“Just anywhere we found the space,” Twyman said. “We just did what we had to do.”
Staff members who were locked in chose to do so. Day in and day out, they cared for the residents and, in a way, the residents cared for them too.
“They have been troopers about all of it,” Twyman said. “They’ve worried about us as much as we worry about them, so they were always making sure did everyone eat breakfast. It was kind of like a bunch of grandparents taking care of us as well.”
According to twyman, they have not had any coronavirus cases. Nine weeks after moving in, they got to move out.
The community cheered for them as they left. Some missed big life events like birthdays, graduations and grandkids being born, but said it’s all worth it for the residents they love.
“We went in with the thought we’re doing this to protect our residents and we still are COVID free and we hopefully will continue to do that,” Twyman said.
She added that if there was some second wave of the coronavirus, the staff would move back in again without hesitation.