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'The clock is ticking for me:' Central Texas woman needs help finding at-home caregiver

Posted at 10:34 AM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 11:34:44-04

TEMPLE, TX — Like most other industries, the nursing industry is staring a nationwide shortage in its face.

In fact, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, a shortage is at a critical level as baby boomers begin to retire and phase-out of the industry and the need for medical help grows.

This unfortunate fact is affecting thousands of folks across the United States.

Closer to home, 41-year-old Allison Dickson is feeling the effects firsthand as she has never had an easy life.

At just 15 months old, she was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and was told she would only have about a year and a half left to live.

Well, a few decades and higher education degrees later, not only is she a lawyer but now she’s able to say she proved those doctors wrong.

”It is a vulnerable position to be in, relying on other people to be here and care for me,” she explained. ‘It’s total care.”

Her life this year was in the hands of nature yet again, except this time to a new threat, COVID-19.

Staying in her home with her mother and few caretakers was her reality just a few months ago, but she continues to beat the odds.

Now though, she’s facing the challenge of finding at-home care.

“You know I think it’s just a difficult time of year with COVID ending, there were family issues, scheduling issues,” she said, explaining why most of her staff left. ”It’s scary, at this point I don’t have anyone scheduled for Tuesday starting at 8 a.m.”

She lives with her 83-year-old mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a few years back, so she’s also looking for licensed vocational nurses to take care of both her mother and herself.

“The home health care, caregiver shortage is not a new thing,” Dr. Amy Mersiovsky, the director of nursing at Texas A&M-Central Texas said. “It has been even worse with COVID.”

Fearing for the worst, Dickson told 25 News that if she does not find at least three caretakers within the next few days both her and her mother will end up in facilities.

She explained that neither of them is at a point where they mentally need to have 24-hour, facility care, but she can’t live her life without someone by her side.

“The clock is ticking for me,” she ended.