BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — While many in the Rio Grand Valley spent a few days in the dark from outages caused by severe weather, living without power was especially hard for the elderly.
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During that time, a Brownsville adult daycare continued doing all they could to ensure their patients got through.
“Since Monday, I didn’t have anything to make food or anything like that,” Las Jacarandas Adult Day Care Patient Bertha Rodriguez said in Spanish. “But thank God everything was OK.”
Las Jacarandas closed for a few days due to the power outage.
“This is a second home for us,” Rodriguez said.
She lives alone and is confined to a wheelchair, but was able to get by through having family check on her.
“I didn’t know how long it would be until I could leave home or when the lights would come on, but that’s where I was,” she said.
Owner and administrator Abraham Barrientes said Rodriguez’ case is not unique and many of their patients have limited mobility, no transportation and in some cases are completely alone.
“If we don’t call for them, some of them don’t have anybody,” he said. “They just have us, so we need to do that.”
Despite being unable to open, Las Jacarandas staff made home visits to leave meals and administer medications.
“Some, if they lived in an apartment complex that relied on light and didn’t have a way to cook their food, heat up their food, or whatever, if we wouldn’t have taken the food in the morning, they wouldn’t have had a way to have it,” he said.
With the outages called off, they reopened on Thursday and have restructured operations in case something happens again.
“We’re prioritizing making sure we take care of breakfast,” Barrientes said. “We’re going to move up the scheduling for lunch just in case the lights go out — at least they can take that home with them and they’ll have a lunch.”
Barrientes added while some have been critical about Las Jacarandas remaining open amid the pandemic, they have a responsibility to their clients facing a greater hazard — being alone at home.