WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Throughout the pandemic, many seniors have been stuck at home, but still need access to everyday essentials. Two women have gone above and beyond to make sure those who need help get what they need.
On the corner of Chestnut and Sherman streets in Watertown is the workplace of Joanne and Dianne Nugent-Ward, co-franchise owners for Seniors Helping Seniors.
It’s an in-home care provider that employs seniors to help other seniors.
“They don’t need medical help, but they do need a little bit of help to do their daily activities such as housekeeping, meal preparation,” said Joanne.
But, when the pandemic hit, those things became even more essential. Over the past year, the two have overseen 60 employees and 100-plus receivers across the tri-county region - a year they both say was unlike any other.
“We at first started to lose some business because clients, of course, didn’t want to have people coming into their homes not knowing what the risk might be,” said Dianne.
Then, the two say as things got worse, their business started to pick up, adding more clients than they’ve had in the past.
More clients led to an expansion of PPE for employees - a process that isn’t easy when some providers live over 2 hours away. At one point, the two made 50 bottles of hand sanitizer from home when supply was low.
But through it all, the two say their passion for helping others kept them going.
“If we really are going to be compassionate providers of services for seniors, we have to go the extra mile in order to keep them safe,” said Joanne.
“You know we always want to do our very best to help those folks that need immediate service,” said Dianne.
Even though the operation is headquartered in Watertown, the two are expanding. They are looking to start providing service in other north country counties like Clinton and Essex to continue helping more seniors.