Monarch Frontline Hero: Long-Term Services and Supports Behavioral Specialist Monica Love
Behavioral Specialist Monica Love celebrated her birthday on April 2 and it is sure to be a memorable one. She spent her special day quarantined and caring for a person Monarch supports.
Love, who has worked in the mental health field as a behavioral specialist for over 22 years, has supported a husband and wife in a Monarch apartment for 11 years. The husband contracted the coronavirus in late March after initially being diagnosed with pneumonia.
The husband and wife require a supported living environment due to behavioral health diagnoses.
The COVID-19 diagnosis caused concern for the husband and wife. Love realized that continuity of care would benefit both during recuperation. Love offered to quarantine in the couple’s home for 17 days: “I decided that it would be best having worked with them for 11 years. I know the couple well and how they are when are sick, not feeling well and how they express themselves.”
She shared that the husband was alarmed at what might happen when the medical test results were positive, based on information he viewed across news outlets. “I basically reassured him that we would follow protocol, he would do well and we would check on him,” she said. “I explained to him that every case is not the same and it depends on the person. He trusts me to tell him the truth.”
During the quarantine, the husband and wife stayed in separate rooms with Monarch processes and protocol carefully followed with the use of personal protection equipment. Love reported that he has recovered from the coronavirus and is doing well.
“I knew I was the one that they trusted the most and I wanted to make sure they were well taken care of. Other Monarch staff care for them, but I am assigned full-time with them,” Love explained.
To make time pass quickly, Love said she and the wife, who was not diagnosed with COVID-19, spent time cleaning, playing board and card games, watching movies and cooking nutritious meals while the husband recuperated in a bedroom. Although all three were in the same house, the trio used a video conferencing application to communicate and see each other while trying to distance as much as possible.
Love said she relied on her faith to endure the difficulties of the quarantine. “It was pretty hard, but I kept my mind occupied. I prayed and listened to my gospel to keep my mind on track . . . I just kept praying,” she shared, adding that she kept in contact with her grandmother and aunt with whom she lives.
Love said that she considers the couple like her family and treats them as she would her own. “Their family thanked me and said what a big help it was in making sure their loved ones were safe. I got a lot of thanks from a lot of people” Love noted.