What challenges was Belva having that led to her needing a home health agency?
Belva has used home health on two occasions. First, after knee surgery and second, after a fall in her home. Though she lives in an assisted living community, she needed a little more help than they could provide. At the time of her second experience with home health, she was also struggling with memory issues.
On top of medical challenges, there was also a global health pandemic happening during her second round of home health assistance.
What care was Belva receiving before home health?
After her at-home fall, Belva was treated in a hospital for about a week. During that time, mobility became a challenge for her, so she needed to go to a rehabilitation facility for six weeks. After her rehabilitation treatment, Belva had still not regained her ability to walk as her family had hoped. Her doctor recommended that she move to a skilled nursing facility for a few weeks before returning to her home.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Belva’s daughter Susie and other family members were not permitted inside the skilled nursing facility to visit Belva. Susie felt like she was in the dark about what was happening with her mother. She was very frustrated by the lack of communication from the staff there.
Belva struggled to understand why her family couldn’t visit her and why she was at the skilled nursing facility rather than her home. She was very confused and very lonely. After several weeks, she was still unable to walk, and her memory was quickly declining. When Belva started having Sundowning Syndrome (confusion in the late afternoon and evening), Susie knew that it was time for a change. It was time to bring Belva home and work with a home health agency.
Belva and Susie both had a wonderful experience with the staff from Sooner Home Health after Belva’s knee surgery a few years prior, so Susie got in touch with Sooner again.
Home Health During a Pandemic
Sooner Home Health offers nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, and even home health aides to assist with self-care tasks. Now, Belva can get convenient care from her Sooner physical therapist in her home at an assisted living facility each week. Belva’s daughter is grateful for the on-site care since she can’t visit her mother in-person during the pandemic, and it’s not safe to take her mother out for appointments.
Susie has multiple ways to reach her mother’s physical and occupational therapists to discuss her mother’s care and progress if needed. She also gets regular phone calls and text messages from the Sooner staff after visiting her mother to keep her updated on how her mother is doing. Susie is extremely grateful for the abundant communication.
What do they love about working with Sooner Home Health?
Belva loves doing her physical therapy. She’s been athletic all of her life, with a particular love for tennis. She even jokes that her years on the tennis court are why she needed knee surgery. During her therapy sessions, Belva always excels and goes beyond her physical therapist’s expectations because she just loves being active.
For Susie, home health is a huge relief. Belva stopped driving several years ago, and it was a challenge to find reliable, safe transportation for Belva before Susie retired from her teaching career. Now, Belva can get outstanding care in her home, so Susie doesn’t have to worry about how her mother will get to her appointments.
Susie has also loved seeing the Sooner staff interact with her mother. “[The physical therapist] had a real empathy for my mother, and they exchanged stories. The physical therapist had two daughters, and my mother has two granddaughters. It just felt like she had a real interest in my mother, and I really appreciated that.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for many older adults. “With her memory as it is,” said Susie, “it’s really helpful to have physical therapy in the home.” Susie feels like she can trust the Sooner staff, especially after being so involved with her mother’s care after her prior knee surgery. She saw first-hand how wonderful the staff were with her mother. “It’s a relief that I don’t have to be as involved since I can’t be [in the building because of the pandemic], but they’re in her home, and they can take care of her.”