Home National News Third elderly victim claimed as Little Sisters of the Poor, Jeanne Jugan...

Third elderly victim claimed as Little Sisters of the Poor, Jeanne Jugan staff work to reduce impact of coronavirus

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Jeanne Jugan residence in Newark. (Dialog photo/Don Blake)

NEWARK – Three residents of Jeanne Jugan Residence have died as the Little Sisters of the Poor battle the coronavirus pandemic that threatens the entire retirement community and its religious and lay employees who are working to prevent the devastation.

The first resident died last week, another on March 29 and the third today, March 31, according to Sister Constance Veit. All three victims were elderly with pre-existing conditions, she said.

In dealing with the sadness and the difficulty of combating the illness, Sister Constance said the sisters are thankful for people who continue to contribute to their cause, but especially the work force that keeps coming to do the job each day.

“Suffice it to say that we are profoundly grateful to everyone who is helping to care for our residents and those who have offered help in so many ways,” Sister Constance said in an email. “But there is no one doing more than the direct caregivers who are here on the front line of this war.

“Many of them are worried for loved ones but they keep coming. These unsung heroes are just that, true heroes.”

The Delaware Department of Health and Human Services last week responded to a report of the death of the first resident, an 86-year-old male resident of Jeanne Jugan. He had underlying medical conditions, according to the state and Mother Margaret Regina Halloran, mother superior at the Jeanne Jugan Residence.

At that time, six residents of the Newark nursing home tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Division of Public Health. DHSS said it was actively working with the facility to ensure resident and staff safety.

More than 66 people live at the non-profit continuing care retirement community run by the Little Sisters, including 40 residents in nursing units.

“There is an ongoing need for PPE, especially gowns and regulation N95 masks, but we assume that most people would not have access to this,” Sisters Constance said in an email March 30. “If there is anyone out there who works in the medical profession or otherwise has any information about how to obtain these, it would be most helpful.

“Otherwise what would be most helpful is monetary donations, which we will apply to getting whatever is needed as the situation arises.

“The greatest thing we need is prayer to ward off the virus and keep our residents and staff safe. Prayers for the staff are very important because without them we would be sunk. They are truly heroic.”

Sister Constance is director of communications for the Little Sisters of the Poor in the United States. The religious order sent her to Newark last week to contribute to the effort to help residents and staff at Jeanne Jugan Residence.

Delaware Gov. John Carney’s office has not replied to questions from The Dialog about the Jeanne Jugan Residence the last two days. In a public forum Friday, Carney said Jeanne Jugan “is an institution that has been serving the elderly for as long as I can remember, doing the work of their patron saint.”

HOW TO HELP:

A link to the donate page is here: https://littlesistersofthepoordelaware.weshareonline.org

Or people could send checks to:

Jeanne Jugan Residence

185 Salem Church Rd

Newark, DE 19713-2942

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