Boston company supports caregivers navigating COVID-19 with loved ones

April 8, 2020

There are around 900,000 caregivers living in Massachusetts and COVID-19 has dramatically changed their lives. One Boston company is making a difference from afar.

Chandler Jones is the primary caregiver for her 3-year old son and grandmother, Beatriz. After a head injury years ago, Beatriz was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. She requires around-the-clock care.

“We’re so used to always having family and friends visit. Or I would take her out, to even just walk around the store or driving to her appointments and those are all being cancelled,” Jones said.

One constant: Jones’s team at SeniorLink. The Boston-based company operates in nine states including Massachusetts, providing case management services through its Caregiver Homes program.

“We are sort of a lifeline for a lot of our families,” said Karin Sullivan, an RN and clinical team lead at SeniorLink.

Sullivan said in between home visits, the staffer had been using a HIPAA-secure app called Vela for several years. It helps them more easily connect with caregivers and their loved ones without having to be at the home in person. The app has become even more valuable now.

“They’ve lost that structure, routine, socialization with a peer group. If I see something in a note, I respond to what I’m reading. I’ll say ‘Good job with this.'” Sullivan said.

The company started investing in this technology about five years ago to quickly message throughout the day and provide educational resources courses on coronavirus.

The company’s CEO, Tom Riley, said support is what they do and is vital for anyone caring for a loved one at home right now.

“Reach out to people who are isolated, provide them support, get on Zoom. Talk to them, help them with their stress because they’re doing really, really important work in the community,” Riley said.

It’s work that Chandler Jones feels blessed to do and is grateful for the support around her now more than ever.

“Family means everything to me and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Jones said.


This article was originally posted on WCVB 5.

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