Last week, a large snowstorm crippled our community, turning local commutes into hours-long ordeals and depriving thousands of electricity. Among those without heat or electricity were some of our clients, including Mr. and Mrs. W., 96 and 90 respectively, who live in the Bethesda area and both receive round-the-clock care from our Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) as well as additional oversight from Registered Nurse and Geriatric Care Manager, Cathy Lonas, of Advocate 360 since they have no family in town.

Upon losing power, CarePlus’ CNAs did their best to keep Mr. and Mrs. W. warm and safe, but when the electricity hadn’t returned the following morning, they called Tom Najjar, owner of CarePlus Home Health, Inc, for advice about what to do. As both husband and wife have medical problems, taking them to a warming station was not the best option. Compounding this was the fact that the city of Bethesda was buried under snow, making transportation even more difficult than usual.

Tom, working with Cathy Lonas, contacted Mr. and Mrs. W.’s son, who lives in Colorado, and obtained his permission to get his parents a hotel room in the area. Unfortunately, many area hotels had also lost power, and many of those that hadn’t were full. Finally Tom and Cathy found a hotel in Germantown that had one room available; the only problem that remained was how to get the W.’s to the hotel.

Despite treacherous road conditions, Tom himself drove to Bethesda to pick up Mr. and Mrs. W. and their caregivers, and transported them to the hotel in Germantown, where he stayed to make sure that they were getting settled well; he then went to pick up dinner for them and brought it back to the hotel. By the time he left, the W.’s were in good spirits and much warmer.

After their scheduled two-day stay at the hotel, Tom discovered that the power was still out at the W.’s house, so he arranged for them to stay for an extra day. On the third day, Tom returned to pick them up and take them back to their home in Bethesda, where the electricity was back—but the heat was not! After 45 minutes of troubleshooting, Tom discovered that the problem was with the thermostat; a quick change of batteries and the house started warming up right away.

When you sign on with CarePlus, you’re not just getting a personal care agency; CarePlus provides you with a staff who cares enough to go out of their way, and is willing to go the extra mile for you and your loved ones without hesitation.

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