COVID-19 is affecting every part of our population, from school-aged children to seniors in assisted living homes, and everyone in between. For families with a loved one in end-of-life care in particular, the pandemic has caused increased financial and emotional strain during what is already a challenging time. Gateway House of Peace, a charitable hospice home in Ballston Spa, is helping to ease this burden put on in-home, end-of-life caregivers with a new grassroots initiative called Gateway Helping Hands.
“People and their families who are experiencing end of life circumstances are burdened with so much emotional and sometimes financial drain during their final days,” says Gateway Executive Director Dawn Kearns. “And now the coronavirus has added to these already difficult situations.”
It all started with a donation from Gateway House of Peace board member Kevin Bright, an Emmy-winning producer/director of the TV show Friends and Saratoga Living‘s most recent cover subject. “It’s a huge stress on the family situation when the people who are generally supporting the caregivers are out of work now,” Bright told NewsChannel 13. Furthermore, it’s unsafe for the caregivers to go out to the grocery store, for fear that they may bring the virus back to their at-risk loved one. So, while Gateway House of Peace typically houses up to two people at its Ballston Spa location, Gateway Helping Hands allows the charity to serve those families providing end-of-life care in their own home, by way of grocery, medication and gas card deliveries.
Bright’s generous donation served as a catalyst for others in the community; within hours, there was an outpouring of donations that made Gateway Helping Hands possible. “Where there is a crisis, there is always need, and where there’s a need, there is always a way to help,” Kearns wrote in a post to Gateway’s Facebook page.
Gateway Helping Hands has already provided eight families with groceries and household items to help ease the burden caused by COVID-19. Those interested in supporting the initiative can call Gateway House of Peace at (518) 450-1273 or send an email to [email protected].