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Coronavirus pandemic puts strain on caregivers

Posted at 4:31 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 22:19:25-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — COVID-19 is adding extra stress for some caretakers.

Jewish Family Services in Boca Raton says they have a plan to help.

Sue Gottesman spends most of her day caring for others.

“I’ve got a 99-year-old mom who has a variety of needs and I’ve got my kids, and not only do I have kids, one of them is severely autistic so it’s not like I can leave them alone," Gottesman said.

The pandemic has only added stress.

“I lost my job as a result of COVID," Gottesman said.

Still she and her husband have managed to find a silver lining.

“I saw for myself an opportunity, while my son was learning, I would be learning and so I started doing a lot of Zoom classes. I started volunteering even more," Gottesman said.

Now she’s adding one more course to her list— respite care training.

“Respite care is when you go into the home and provide a rest for a caregiver," said Danielle Hartman, the president of Jewish Family Services in Boca Raton.

On Tuesday, the organization will partner with FAU to provide free virtual respite care training.

“It’s actually even really good for parents of special needs family members because a lot of times they don’t even have a playbook that they get to learn skills from. So, it’s an extra skill for themselves," Hartman said.

Hartman says there’s a huge need for trained respite workers. She hopes this free training will help.

“The more people that we can get trained to go in provide Respite the better our community will be because we will be able to go in and give stressed parents a break and older caregivers a break from their loved ones," Hartman said.

To sign up for the virtual respite care training, click here.