Alegis Care colleagues recently came together to ensure a chronically ill, homebound patient had a safe and accessible home environment.
When on a home visit, Alegis Care NP, Savannah, noticed the patient’s front porch – the only way to enter and exit the home – was full of holes and had old, rotting plywood, and the attached access ramp was in need of non-slip tread.
Knowing the patient did not have disposable income for the necessary repairs, Savannah reached out to Alegis Care social worker, Amy. Determined to find a solution, Amy found a local United Way chapter and submitted an online nomination for a volunteer project to make the porch repairs and ramp improvements.
‘All in’ for a patient in need
Rubin lives with several chronic health conditions, and suffered a stroke two years ago, which left him unable to care for himself without assistance. He uses a walker and a wheelchair to get around, and his wife, Mary, helps him with day-to-day activities, including bathing, dressing and preparing meals.
As an Alegis Care patient, Rubin receives specialized care from in-home nurses, telephonic nurses and a 24-hour service line.
Savannah’s regular visits to Rubin’s home enabled her to assess his condition and address symptoms that could lead to a hospital stay. It was because of those visits that Savannah discovered the dire need to repair their porch and access ramp.
“It was a safety issue,” Savannah said. “Having a safe home environment is critical for a patient’s overall well-being.”
Savannah and Amy’s concern for Rubin’s wellbeing and safety paid off. In March, a team of United Way volunteers rebuilt Rubin and Mary’s porch and added non-slip tread to the ramp.
They were overwhelmed with gratitude, and Savannah was humbled to be “all in” for them.
“This brings tears to my eyes. They are the most precious people and are so grateful for any assistance.”
Amy was thrilled when she received an email with photos of them on their new porch.
“I was so pleased and happy for them,” Amy said. “This project changed their lives simply by making it safe for them to enter and exit their home.”
And the concern and care for Rubin and Mary didn’t stop there.
In late March, Amy called to check in on Rubin and Mary and learned that their only vehicle had been stolen in February. They had been staying inside for weeks due to COVID-19 and had no way to access groceries.
“Mary said the only thing left in their cupboard was corn meal and rice,” Amy said. “I was prepared to deliver the groceries myself.”
Amy eventually got in touch with Red Door Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides fresh food for homebound seniors, and explained how dire the situation was for Rubin and Mary. Although the nonprofit was short on delivery drivers, they made an exception for them, and one of the Kitchen’s cooks delivered the food.
Rubin’s story is an example of how Alegis Care teams understand a patient’s needs in order to treat the whole person. By visiting and speaking to patients in the comfort of their homes, they are able to better understand potential barriers to getting and staying healthy.
“I am just doing my job, and it’s so fulfilling,” Amy said. “I’m thankful to be part of a team committed to keeping patients safe and well, no matter what it takes.”