The pandemic might be slowing down, but many nursing homes and long-term care facilities are still limiting visitors. There are programs that allow anyone to become a certified caregiver in less than two weeks, so you can visit your loved ones again.
Kathryn Lyons did just that, and now spends nearly every day with her elderly mother-in-law, Sondra -something she could not do last year.
"And then all of a sudden the pandemic came, and everything was on lockdown, and we couldn't see her," Lyons said. "I was praying about it and woke up the next day and was like, 'I need to do something about this.'"
Lyons recently learned she could become a certified nursing assistant in less than two weeks. That would allow her be Sondra's caregiver at Oklahoma Methodist Manor.
"One day I was just talking to my mom on the phone and she was telling me how unhappy she was, and then ten days later I was in there. It made an enormous difference in the way she saw life, she was happy," Lyons said.
To become a certified nursing aid, a person will need to attend a CNA Academy, and complete a ten-day crash course in caregiving.
Teresa Taylor is one of the instructors at HealthPro in Tulsa. She said the course is ten days, eight hours a day, five days a week. Once you complete the course, you will have to take a certification test at Tulsa Tech.
Taylor said anyone can take the course.
"I've had students as young as 17 and as old as 72," Teresa said. "What I try to do is to give them that nudge to get them started in the walk with caregiving, because it is truly a work of heart."
Methodist Manor Director Jacob Will said they have about a dozen part-time CNA's right now, and always need more.
"The CNA course is just vital for them to learn more about individuals, not only from a clinical standpoint but a holistic approach," Will said.
Lyons said the class costs $500 to $700, depending on the different academies. She said her son is also going to get certified, and she encourages others to do the same.
"It's a short track start to something that could be extremely rewarding to you and your family," Lyons said.