Lori Becerra has a lot of work to do, picking up the pieces of Category 4 Hurricane Michael.
Becerra helps run Southern Assisted Care, a place seniors with Alzheimer’s call home.
“With their cognition, they don’t always recognize what’s going on,” explains Becerra. “So, we tried to kind of keep it from them.
Since Alzheimer’s patients don’t always process information the same way, Becerra says she didn’t want to create unnecessary stress.
But how do you keep a Category 4 storm howling on the other side of a boarded-up window a secret?
Becerra says they kept their residents entertained.
“In the middle of everything, being scary and you know you’re hearing trees come down and hearing wind howl, you’re turning on music on the radio and doing a dance party,” she says. “You’re putting out puzzles to do a puzzle.”
Becerra says it was just about keeping her residents distracted.
“And they haven’t been back outside since the storm so they don’t even realize what’s happened,” she says.
The facility is now without running water, and Becerra expects to be running on generators for days, if not longer. She says she’ll take the burden of the stress, so the residents, as she puts it, can stay blissfully unaware.
“It’s protected them from having to go through what we’re feeling emotionally when we see it,” Becerra says.