Jeffrey S. mitigates risks, stays active taking care of himself, brother, and community
Jeffrey S. is a retired widower living in the west end of St. Louis city in a two-story home where he cares for an older brother who has diabetes and dementia. Jeffrey has always been active: roller skating, exercising, and staying connected to his community. The shutdown due to the COVID-19 crisis has presented challenges and solutions.
Staying busy and caring for his brother
When the stay-at-home order went into effect, Jeffrey was already stocked with food and had projects to do inside, including renovating a bathroom, painting a living room, and completing a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Jeffrey and his brother have their medical needs taken care of by the Veterans’ Association, but his biggest challenge is keeping his brother active, “I keep him exercising by walking him up and down the steps. Any time he needs anything, he has to come down the steps to get it.”
Jeffrey struggles with keeping his brother occupied, “He really doesn’t do anything, but going to the casino. He doesn’t have any hobbies. I’m trying to get him to do something, even with the jigsaw puzzles—he doesn’t like them though. He likes to play dominoes, but he’d whoop me at dominos.”
Connecting to community
Jeffrey connects to his tight-knit neighbors through group texts, “We have this thing: if anybody needs anything, let us know. We have ladies around here that cook, and me—I love to hit the grill.” When he goes out, he puts on his mask and gloves, and asks his older neighbors if they want him to run any errands.
Jeffrey’s church offers Facebook services, including Bible study, and holds prayer meetings by phone. He receives daily devotions from In Touch Ministries using a phone app, “Every day I get my daily Word. That’s how I stay tuned in with the Lord,” he says.
Regarding COVID-19 news, he says, “I watch the news as much as I can take. I like to listen to the medical part. I’m tired of hearing all about the death—not enough about the people that’s living.”
When the stay-at-home order is lifted, he says he will be at the gym or the skating rink, “It depends on what time of day it is.”