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Helping Families Stay Connected: Lillian’s Story

  • Category: News, Skilled Nursing
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  • Written By: Allied Services Integrated Health
Helping Families Stay Connected: Lillian’s Story

During the pandemic, staying connected with elderly relatives and loved ones proved to be a challenge for many. At nursing homes and personal care facilities throughout the country, staff and families worked together to try to overcome those challenges and help families to stay in touch even when being together was impossible.

Barbara Miller and her family went through this exact experience in 2021 when their mother became a resident at Allied Services Meade Street Skilled Nursing. Talking about her mother’s stay at Allied Services, Barbara noted how helpful the staff was, and how they went the extra mile to work around the challenges the pandemic posed.

At 85 years old, Barbara’s mother, Lillian (Lil), lived alone in an apartment in Wilkes-Barre. In late October, she fell at home and was admitted to the hospital. It was determined that Lil would benefit from a skilled nursing stay before returning home to her apartment.

“She wasn’t seriously hurt, but she was shaky and seemed to have lost her confidence after the fall. My father had passed away in 2008, so my mother lived alone in her apartment, and we wanted to be sure she was going to be strong enough to get around,” noted Barb.

With the rest of her family living out of town, Barb and her sister were thankful that the admissions team and other departments at Meade Street Skilled Nursing were able to accommodate them through conference call meetings to keep everyone informed.

Family Care Planning

“During the family care plan meeting my sister was in Virginia and I was here. Being able to have everyone together on one call so we could ask questions without having to relay messages, was very helpful and important. Everyone felt included and comfortable with my mother's care.”

Lil spent about two weeks at Meade Street Skilled Nursing working to regain her strength. After careful thought and planning, Barb and her family decided it was time to take her mother home.

“Just a day or so before we decided to take mom home, my brother was talking with her on the phone. She told him that she was ‘going home’ but he said that the way she said it. He didn’t think she meant to her apartment,” said Barb.

“We had all noticed her slowing down quite a bit over the last year, and through this whole ordeal, she had been just so very tired and weak. We all knew that even though she was receiving the best possible care, she just wanted to be at home. So on November 22, I took my mom back home to her apartment.”

“The social work team was wonderful at her discharge. They had helped get appointments arranged for us and home health was ready to start the very next day. So I was able to get my mother home and have a nice quiet night with her.”

Going Home

“That evening as we were watching TV she said, ‘your father is sitting there.’ I didn’t see anyone but said ok. I stayed for a bit longer and then put her to bed. The next morning I was getting her changed and I needed to call for help from the paramedics - not for an emergency, but for a lift assist. When they came they recognized her last name because my father had been a police officer and as they were helping we were all reminiscing about him.”

“Then quietly and peacefully she was gone. Like my father was welcoming her.”

“We were able to get skilled care for my mother when she needed it, but when we knew it was time for her to be at home - they helped us arrange that too. And with us living in different areas - they kept us connected and well informed about her care and we are so thankful for that.”

Barb now works at Allied Services Meade Street Skilled Nursing as a dietary aide.

“From the beginning, we all had incredible care - not just my mother, but all of us - me, my sister, and my brothers. I don’t just say that because I work here - it’s because I see the difference. I’ve worked other places and it’s just different here and now I’ve seen it from the employee side and the family side. The time and planning that goes into each and every resident is just incredible.”

Skilled Nursing Care

Skilled nursing – specifically, rehabilitation care provided alongside expert round-the-clock nursing care – may be necessary for individuals who have suffered an injury or illness and cannot live safely at home or at an assisted living facility. These individuals require attentive care from a team of skilled clinicians including nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists.

Our skilled nursing facilities provide comprehensive care for both short-term and long-term patients. For many patients, it will serve as a transition program rehabilitation them for their return home with home health or outpatient services as appropriate.