Support professional helps 2 men with developmental disabilities understand the pandemic

A woman has put her life on the line to continue providing daily support to two men with developmental disabilities during the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

May 27, 2020, 12:07 PM

Updated 1,454 days ago

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A woman has put her life on the line to continue providing daily support to two men with developmental disabilities during the pandemic.
Janette Pinilla is a direct support professional for Rising Ground, a non-profit that provides care and support services to adults and children in need.
She's spent the last eight years caring for patients Heriberto and Mark, and she wasn't going to let the pandemic stop her.
"I was told by my family when the pandemic hit not to come to work, they were scared of me catching it because I’m asthmatic,” says Pinilla.
She knew, however, that not showing up wasn't an option, though she says many of her co-workers did cancel home visits.
"I told them I had to come because they needed me, they can’t cook for themselves, they need the help,” says Pinilla.
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She visits Heriberto and Mark typically five days a week and cooks every meal for them, takes them grocery shopping, to the doctor and helps them with reading and other skills. She wanted to make sure they understood and were prepared for the pandemic.
"Trying to explain to them what’s going on. Explaining to them they have to wear the masks, they have to wash their hands when they come in,” says Pinilla.
Mark is an essential worker at Stop & Shop, while Heriberto's daily program is on pause due to the coronavirus and is spending more time at home.
"They are not scared of it like they were at the beginning, now they’re used to hearing about it,” says Pinilla.
Pinilla said she makes sure they watch the news, so they know what's going on with the coronavirus.


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