Home Care Hero: BreAnna Kruyer

Home Care Hero: BreAnna Kruyer

Right at Home

For many residents of long-term care facilities, the coronavirus pandemic has increased their loneliness, anxiety, and fear. Families can’t visit, and residents are confined to their rooms to stop the spread of Covid-19. Trusted caregivers don disguising personal protective equipment from head to toe, which can be scary and confusing for those with dementia.

BreAnna Kruyer, a licensed practical nurse who works for the Right at Home agency, has made a huge effort to provide more comfort to folks who can’t see family and may not understand pandemic restrictions.

BreAnna Kruyer quote “You have to go the extra mile so you aren’t just physically caring for the residents, but you are mentally caring as well,” says the bubbly Kruyer, a married mother of two who has been a nurse for 12 years. “We’ve become the only physical contact patients have in a day, so we’re really reinventing the whole care setting and trying different things, like window visits and FaceTime with family.”

“I feel I’ve always been the nurse who’s gone the extra mile to make them feel loved,” says Kruyer, who tears up when she recounts residents who died from the virus.

At Libertyville Manor, she makes life easier for residents, painting their nails, braiding their hair, or singing someone’s favorite song.

“I like to take the extra time to give them personal interaction and make something just about them for the moment, other than medication or treatments,” she says. “This is something where you look at it as the new normal, so we are pioneering a new way to do things.”

Originally published in the Fall 2020/Winter 2021 print issue. Photo by Jim Vondruska