COOS BAY — As a caregiver, a hair stylist, a family member and a friend — Maple Noggle has worn many hats for the past several weeks as she carries out her duties as an essential worker at Ocean Ridge Assisted Living.
Noggle, a caregiver for about 15 years, has been at Ocean Ridge for nearly three years. She said she’s happy to be able to provide extra services to the residents she cares for on a daily basis.
With the facility implementing a number of visitation restrictions and other limiting practices to stop and slow down the spread of COVID-19, Noggle has stepped up her duties to care for the residents during the pandemic.
“I like helping people. I like talking to people and lifting their spirits,” said Noggle. “It’s tough times, but we can get through this together.”
Since the COVID-19 virus broke out locally, Noggle, along with many of her other coworkers, have increased their workload and hours to help keep the facility’s residents safe and healthy.
The team, she said, has also expanded their entertainment activities and services to keep people engaged and entertained.
Noggle, who has recently developed a great reputation for her hair styling skills at Ocean Ridge, said she will often wash and curl the hair of the women she cares for as a way to keep their minds off the ongoing pandemic.
An act of kindness, Noggle said it’s been great to be able to give the residents a little extra love and care as some of them don’t understand the COVID-19 limits and why they can’t see their families.
“It’s a small thing, but small things can lead to big things,” she said. “I think it keeps them going, it keeps them smiling and it keeps them positive.”
Taking pride in her work, Noggle said she and others have increased their cleanliness practices and sanitation methods to ensure the facility is clean and sanitized.
Noggle also said she’s increased the amount of times she checks in on residents in their rooms, most of which are self-isolating, to make sure they’re doing okay.
“We are family,” she said. “We keep a lot of positivity here and we do a lot of activities. We talk to them, we listen to them and we constantly let them know how loved they are.”
As a caregiver and an essential worker, Noggle said while the job can be hard it can also be very rewarding. The long hours and the constant PPE wearing is worth it, she said, once she sees residents smiling and enjoying themselves.
“Give somebody a kind word or nothing,” said Noggle. “Give something small, if you can, to lift somebody’s spirt each day you see them. Again, it’s the small things that can lead to bigger things.”