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Providing Peace of Mind for Your Loved One: Wife of Resident at The Hearth Shares Her Husband’s Journey with Compassionate Care

December 3, 2021

Resident of The Hearth at Drexel, Don, enjoys having the company of friends and compassionate team members nearby. His wife, Arlene, agrees that both social engagement and quality care are essential to uplifting her husband’s overall well-being. As The Hearth provides Arlene with peace of mind and Don with the compassionate care that he deserves, they feel comfort in knowing that he can age in the community he knows as home.

“We first began looking for communities where Don could live following a major surgery that he had in 2016. Prior to the surgery, he was experiencing severe pain from various spinal problems. As the pain was getting worse, he couldn’t go on managing it. So we had the surgery done, and after that he ran into all kinds of medical problems,” Arlene explains.

After his spinal surgery, Don ran into multiple health complications and resided in an Intensive Care Unit for several weeks. “He suffered one complication after the other,” Arlene notes. After postponing his rehabilitation, Don went through physical therapy and made considerable progress. However, Arlene and his doctors knew that his return to their family home would not be reasonable given his cognitive and functional abilities.

Searching for a community that Don could call home, Arlene considered The Hearth at Drexel for many reasons. “I was familiar with the continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and assisted living communities in the area because I was working as a geriatric care manager at the time,” Arlene explains.

Arlene has a Doctorate degree in educational psychology and worked at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) for 20 years. There, she was on the faculty of Penn Nursing, and directed the Adult Oncology Nurse Practitioner Program. Upon taking an early retirement from UPenn, Arlene opened her own geriatric care management agency where she worked for seven years before retiring.

“While working as a geriatric care manager, I had a client who I referred to The Hearth and I was very pleased with the care that they provided,” she recalls. “Don had also stayed at The Hearth a couple years prior for short-term rehabilitation after he had a knee replacement, and I was very happy with the care they gave him as well,” Arlene adds. For Arlene, one of the most important factors for making the decision in choosing Don’s new home was the quality of care.

At The Hearth, the care is very family-oriented. Team members care for residents like extended family, and that’s important. For Don, it makes such a difference in his well-being. He feels like he is family, and the team members are happy to help him with care when he needs it.

Arlene H., wife of resident at The Hearth at Drexel

Caring for residents like family, Arlene also enjoys how The Hearth’s team members treat Don with dignity and ensure him fulfillment and joy. “The Hearth’s team members see Don, and all of their residents, as full human beings. They don’t just see them as elderly adults, they ask about their past and who they are, and I think that is really important,” Arlene reflects.

Team members at The Hearth enjoy learning about Don’s past and his accomplished career. With a Doctorate degree in early childhood education, Don worked as a program director with children who had varying deficits and disabilities for many years. He also owned his own day care center and implemented various learning programs there. “Don used to love working with children,” says Arlene.

Providing Connection, Friendship, and Fulfillment

In addition to kind and caring team members, Arlene especially enjoys The Hearth’s close-knit community. “The Hearth gives residents a real sense of connection because the community is made up of neighborhoods where residents can really get to know each other and team members,” Arlene notes. “Don is a very social person and he needs a community around him, while also having his privacy. The Hearth is perfect for him in that way,” she affirms.

For Don, bonding with residents over sports is especially engaging. “Don is a very big sports fan. The Hearth has a number of men, and while he relates well to anyone, he relates particularly well with men who share his sports interests,” Arlene describes. Don used to play football, and was once an avid golfer. He enjoys watching various sports games at The Hearth and socializing with residents over victories and losses.

Don also enjoys attending a wide variety of exercise classes at The Hearth. “He never misses exercise,” Arlene assures. Another important aspect of community life for Don is spiritual care, and with the community’s very own Pastor and Director of Spiritual Care, residents have plentiful opportunities to participate in inter-faith traditions and services.

Socialization is so important. With the entertainment events, exercise classes, and spiritual activities, there is structure and enjoyment to Don’s day, and I think that is critical to promoting his well-being.

Arlene H., wife of resident at The Hearth at Drexel

In addition to various community life activities and exercise classes, residents at The Hearth enjoy going on fun outings as there is so much that the local region has to offer. Last week, residents enjoyed a safe, fun trip to the Bryn Mawr Movie Theatre and a trip to The White Dog Café in Haverford. As The Hearth provides residents with fulfillment and fun, Arlene feels comfort in knowing that her husband is happy and healthy in the community he knows as home.

“I have great peace of mind knowing that Don is at The Hearth and that he is well cared for. If he needs anything, I know that team members who treat him like family are there, and that he won’t ever be alone.”


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