Touching Lives Stories
Finding Freedom and Independence
Stephen was “too young for a nursing home” when he moved out of his house and into a rehabilitation center.
Uncontrolled diabetes had caused horrible problems with both of his feet.
“When I was in the ER, the doctor told me he thought he was going to have to take both of my feet,” Stephen said. “He wanted to amputate them both. But man, I didn’t want that to happen!”
The doctor didn’t take his feet. But Stephen lost something else: the freedom to live in his own home, moving around with ease.
A series of set backs left Stephen in that rehab unit for almost two and a half years. Finally, he was ready to make a move back into his own place. He was looking forward to having his own space again.
Initially, Stephen was worried about leaving the supervision of the staff who worked around the clock at the nursing home that housed his rehab unit.
“They were excellent. Excellent,” Stephen recalls. “A guy across the hall from me? He had two heart attacks – pretty close together, too. I saw the staff, and how fast they helped him. That guy lived. And that made me feel very safe. Because I knew that if something happened to me, the staff would be able to take care of me like that.”
Moving into our community gave him peace of mind.
“This was an easy move,” Stephen says. “All the people who live here are real nice and friendly. And I thought that there was no way the nursing staff could be as good as what they were at my last place… but I was wrong. The CNAs and the nurses here are wonderful, and they make me feel just as safe as I’ve ever felt. That was my biggest worry. And it turns out, I didn’t have to worry about that at all.”
Stephen enjoys having his own apartment and appreciates the privacy he has now.
“The next step for me,” Stephen says, “is to keep getting some exercise. I’m going to try to walk more, holding on to this chair instead of sitting in it.”
Seems a little bit of freedom is all he needed!
“It feels good to know I can do this stuff on my own. I can get all the help I need, and I’m able to take care of myself, too,” he said. “I like having my own apartment. And I like spending time, doing the things I like doing. It’s making me feel like things are getting somewhat back to normal. It’s good; really good.”