Letter: While celebrating moms, remember volunteers and caregivers

Eileen Westfahl of Stamford, one of many volunteers volunteering at SilverSource, carries bags of groceries to an elderly resident's home in the Springdale in 2020.

Eileen Westfahl of Stamford, one of many volunteers volunteering at SilverSource, carries bags of groceries to an elderly resident’s home in the Springdale in 2020.

Matthew Brown / Hearst Connecticut Media

For some families, this will be one of the most emotional and meaningful Mother’s Days of their lives as it might be the first chance to see their mothers and grandmothers in person for more than a year. Faced with a raging pandemic that hit older adults hardest, families have been staying apart in order to keep their moms (and dads) safe. Thanks to a nationwide effort that prioritized COVID-19 vaccinations for older Americans, and the extraordinary efforts here in our community, these reunions have already begun for many families.

Even as families depended on technology to stay in touch, many moms also depended on their daily personal relationships with professional caregivers and volunteers who brought joy and companionship, who delivered meals and made well-check calls that helped stave off the depression that separation can bring. Strong bonds were forged. Many caregivers have become surrogate family members to some of our moms, and many volunteers have forged loving bonds with older residents in our community.

This year, thanks to hundreds of volunteers who delivered groceries and meals, and the volunteers who picked up the phone each week to check in on older adults, this is a time to celebrate.

This Mother’s Day is more than an opportunity to honor our own mothers and grandmothers. It’s a celebration of the dedicated caregivers and volunteers who gave so much of themselves to keep our mothers and grandmothers healthy, comfortable and personally connected when COVID kept us apart. Many of these people are mothers themselves who risked their lives and those of their own families to care for others.

I hope you’ll join me this Mother’s Day in celebrating moms everywhere, along with the heroic caregivers and volunteers to whom we will be forever indebted.

Kathleen Bordelon is CEO of Stamford-based SilverSource.