Helping the elderly stay safer during conditional MCO


Herrera ensures that her car is disinfected regularly when she ferries elderly clients. Photos: Oretha Herrera

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the current conditional movement control order (MCO), senior concierge service provider Oretha Herrera fully understands the need to keep her elderly clients safe.

Kuala Lumpur-based Herrera, 46, strictly follows the standard operating procedure (SOP) published on the National Security Council's website, which states that e-hailing drivers and taxis are required to disinfect their vehicles each day.

With a mask and hand sanitiser, Li (right) is better protected against Covid-19.With a mask and hand sanitiser, Li (right) is better protected against Covid-19."I must take extra precautions as my clients are among the most vulnerable to Covid-19. To minimise the risk of spreading the infection, I disinfect my car before taking on an elderly client.

"To keep passengers safe, I always sanitise frequently touched surfaces like car handles, seat adjusters and armrests," said Herrera, who founded Oretha's Senior Concierge Services last year.

She provides a non-medical support service for the elderly who need assistance with daily errands, hospital appointments, shopping and home management.

"Hospitals practise strict SOPs in the wake of the pandemic. We also do our part by wearing a mask, sanitising our hands regularly and ensuring the one-metre physical distancing. So far, my clients are conscientious and follow the SOP diligently.

"I always keep a hand sanitiser, wet wipes and disposable face masks in my handbag for clients who need them," added Oretha, who has four children.

During the pandemic, many people are cautious about going to the hospital, especially those that serve as Covid-19 screening centres. Some individuals fear there's a higher possibility of contracting the virus at such places.

But Herrera's client Penny Li, 73, prefers to stick to her appointments.

Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Photo: The Star/Raja Faisal Hishan Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Photo: The Star/Raja Faisal Hishan

"My biggest worry is that the hospital would postpone my appointment till next year," said Li.

Whenever the septuagenarian is at the hospital for a check-up, she keeps a safe distance from crowds and dons a mask.

"I try to avoid touching surfaces in public places. I wash my hands regularly and take a shower after my medical check-up.

"To curb this pandemic, everyone should stay at home as much as possible," advised the grandmother of eight.

Despite the conditional MCO, Herrera has not seen a drop in clients needing her services.

"Although most of my clients' children are at home during this period, most of them are working from home. Many do not have the flexibility to accompany their elderly parent to the hospital. That's where I step in to help."

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