When it mattered most – Care Remembered
As the Spring Holidays arrive, Gregg Peterson, Kronos Field Operations Manager for Healthcare shares memories of the care his mother, Carol, received and what a difference it made to his family!
As my family approaches our first Easter without my Mother, we are comforted in remembering all the people who touched our lives during Mom’s “long goodbye” from Alzheimer’s disease. Our loss is lightened only by the memories of those other patients, families and care professionals whom we might never have met had this experience not entered our lives. While I miss my Mother each and every day, I am truly blessed by ALL the people we encountered during her journey.
My Mother (Carol) spent the last six-years of her life in the care of the wonderful staff of the Lutheran Home in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. This beautiful place became the “port-in-the-storm” for our family. I know we couldn’t have navigated this long journey without them and we are so grateful for their commitment to quality patient care. From the staff in SCR (Special Care Residence) to the Long-Term Nursing crew I can assuredly say our family felt surrounded by earth’s angels.
I attribute a great deal of Mom’s successful care at the Lutheran Home to the consistency of their competent staff. The Lutheran Home is in a small rural community and is staffed by wonderful people who live locally and have a long tenure with the Lutheran Home organization. These folks have been caring for neighbors, friends and family they have likely known most of their lives. What a respite for my family to know that the same rotation of nurses would be helping Mom get dressed for the day and the same level of consistency in care would be taken when getting her ready for bed each night. Someone who knew that getting Mom up in the morning would go better if they first just came-in and opened her blinds and let her wake gently on her own; and then would return 10-15 minutes later to get-her-up. Someone who knew the importance of putting Mom’s right arm through her shirt first when getting her dressed owing to her bursitis. While “little things” to some—this meant the world to my family in ensuring Mom was comfortable and getting the best care available. Just a few of the care staff that stand-out in my memory include Donna, Dianne, Sandy, Marilyn, Lori, Kim, Cliff, Remy and Terry. Their goal was making Mom as comfortable as possible.
Before our referral to the Lutheran Home in Belle Plaine our family encountered two less successful experiences with other memory care facilities. These facilities, while closer for my Father, also served as an educational/training ground for a university nursing program in my parent’s hometown. As a family we understood the importance of these training programs in support of memory care of course. However for my Mother, who had lost her ability to speak early in her disease progression; it was extremely frustrating. At the start of each new semester one group of students would move-on and another new group would come aboard. This quarterly turnover required a new group of students to learn Mom’s schedule and daily routine all of which were hindered by her limited ability to communicate with them. This in turn led to lots of angst and frustration for Mom and for our family. While good intentioned—it wasn’t a good fit for Mom. THANK HEAVEN for our referral to the Belle Plaine Lutheran Home.
To ALL the staff at the Lutheran Home, you will always have my undying gratitude. The LOVE and LIGHT you showed my Mother and our family during the last six-years of her life will be carried in my heart always. Thank you so much for your “gift of care” to Mom.
Happy Easter to ALL!