Elderhaus Difference: Senior Care: Making a Lasting Difference
Seniors living in the Cape Fear Region have their pick of resources for health, fitness, recreation, and socialization. So, what is the Elderhaus difference?
The Wilmington-based non-profit employs over 100 caring staff members – transportation drivers, an activities department, in-house physical and occupational therapists, physicians, nurses, social workers, dietician, and speech therapist.
For the participants and caregivers who partner with Elderhaus however, the strength of the program is found not in the sum of its parts, but in the very tangible transformations they see in their own lives.
Many caregivers seek out services when they have already reached the point of mental and physical exhaustion – the result of caring for a loved one 24/7. They often observe that their initial meeting with staff in the intake office is the first time they have truly felt heard in months, or even years. As one caregiver recently commented, “No one has understood what I’m going through until now, in three years not one single person has really got it until I spoke with you.”
The all-inclusive PACE program that allows participants to receive their social and medical needs in one place suddenly alleviates the requirement for caregivers to drive to one location for mom’s specialist appointment, across town for her medication, and then in another direction to take her home.
In addition to offering support and stability for caregivers, participants enrolled in PACE quickly find their quality of life is improved far beyond what they may have imagined.
Heather Lester, DPT with Elderhaus, refers to the PACE program, as a “one-stop shop.” Having worked at the senior and adult day care center in Wilmington for the past five years, Heather can attest to that difference.
Heather shares the story of one participant who wanted to surprise his granddaughter by dancing with her at her wedding. Because Heather was able to give him the time and attention to focus on his specific needs, she helped this participant develop good coordination and balance skills. The participant wanted Heather to be at the wedding, and on the big day he danced to Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” while Heather watched as a wedding guest.
“It was just so touching,” she says. “That’s where we can transform people.”
The dedicated staff at Elderhaus will give participants what they need for years at a time. If a participant has to start a therapy again or has changing needs, Elderhaus does not require a referral and can begin care right away.
“We can carry participants much farther than many other care settings,” Heather says.
Because participants are seen so regularly, the staff gets to know them and their families on a deeper level. They learn to anticipate their participants’ needs and care for their personal well-being.
Above all, the Elderhaus difference is transformative.
The Elderhaus difference impacts participants from the moment they join to the end of their lives. Their goal is to ensure the best quality of life for participants by making their time with Elderhaus truly unique.
To learn more about how Elderhaus can make a difference for you or a loved one, visit elderhaus.com or call 910-251-0660.
by Olivia Bardella