An 85-year-old registered nurse in New Brunswick has come out of retirement to help care for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thought they needed me and I came,” said Marg Miller of Dalhousie, N.B.
A geriatric nurse for more than 35 years, Miller retired from the Villa Renaissance nursing home in Dalhousie last Fall.
But in late March, after the pandemic hit, she said that she felt a calling to help. So, she said she set aside her own fears of contracting COVID-19 and returned to work as a head nurse at the home.
“We are all afraid but I am a senior in good health and I am taking all the precautions,” she said.
Kim Cormier, also a registered nurse at the home, calls Miller an anchor.
“She has such a positive attitude and I am sure this is why she is able to still be working at 85 years old,” Cormier said.
Cormier said Miller is on her feet caring for the elderly eight hours a day.
“The residents mean everything to me. They are like family,” said Miller, who said she has always had a “healing heart.”
She said that she just couldn’t dream of not being here for the 90 residents forced to be isolated from their families. It’s unclear how long she will stay working since no one knows when the pandemic will end.
She said she is taking precautions to protect herself and her residents from contracting the virus and will continue to help support those who cannot be with their families.
“I am just trying to do the best that I can”
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travelers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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