GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- The impact of COVID-19 is hitting caregivers in Arizona hard.

"There's already a shortage that's occurring, but with COVID, what's happening is now we have caregivers who work for multiple companies, they have loved ones at home, they're trying to isolate themselves," said Shanell McCoy, an administrator with Senior Helpers in Glendale. "Caregivers are opting either not to go into the home or the communities, or they are being exposed."

Tony Jackson relies on caregivers to help him through the day. "It's really a matter of my life really," said Jackson. "If I can't get help, that means I don't get out of bed in the morning, or I don't get in bed at night. That means I can't go to the bathroom."

He says there have been times he can't find help on the weekends. "When caregivers weren't showing up, I was calling friends to come help me," said Jackson.

Senior Helpers said it's looking to hire 50-60 caregivers to work with people in the community.

"Any frontline worker has reservations about going to work," said McCoy. "Even in home care, you're still a frontline worker."

Coronavirus is also taking some employees off the job, even if they have not tested positive. "If we have a caregiver who works for our community, and they have an exposure, then we have to isolate them as well," said McCoy.

Caregivers say the good news is that lots of jobs are available, and many employees are seeing overtime. "The federal government needs to reimburse, higher rates, so agencies can pay caregivers more," said Jackson.


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