Resident Stories

Ms. Muneera, Landmark of Acadiana in St. Martin Parish


Ms. Muneera, a 77-year-old resident of Landmark of Acadiana in St. Martinville, is just one example of the many talented residents in Louisiana’s nursing facilities. Knowing the story behind the artist often makes the crafts and creations even more beautiful by the beholder.

Ms. Muneera was born in Loreauville, Louisiana. She lived a hard life but was an inquisitive and creative child who enjoyed learning new things. Muneera’s grandmother taught her how to use her treadle sewing machine when she was 10 years old. Muneera began making her clothes and continued to make clothes for her children, husband, and grandchildren throughout the years.

Ms. Muneera began painting after her husband built a rocking horse for one of the children and asked her to paint it. "I painted the rocking horse and received so much joy from my creation that I continued to paint,” said Muneera. "I enjoy arts and crafts to this day!”

Ms. Muneera was married for 56 years and raised three children. When her husband’s health declined, he moved to the nursing facility and so did she. When he passed away, she chose to stay at the facility because of the quality care she received and the friendships she made. Ms. Muneera recently participated in the 2017 LNHA Craft Fair at the Spring Conference and Trade Show and won an award for her hand painted wooden eggs.


When asked about her craft she said, "Painting is a form of relaxation for me. I enjoy doing different types of artwork from painting on canvas to painting porcelain eggs. I enjoy participating in all of the facility activities and spending quiet time in my room creating different projects. It’s a little harder now that I have Parkinson’s disease, but it fills my day. It gives me so much pleasure to create a unique, one of a kind work of art by a unique one of a kind person, namely me.”

Her beautiful painted eggs and paintings deserve to be seen by all. Thanks for sharing your talents for us to enjoy, Ms. Muneera!


 


Mr. Wilfred, Hammond Nursing Home in Tangipahoa Parish

If you visit Hammond Nursing Home you will probably see Mr. Wilfred, wearing a smile, visiting with other residents and joking with his caregivers. If you spoke to him you’d learn that he believes this nursing facility saved his life. When he came to the facility more than 10 years ago, he was experiencing signs of depression. When it came to participating in fun activities or meeting new friends at the facility he simply wasn’t interested. He did only what was required: bathe, eat and occasionally attend physical therapy.

Mr. Wilfred decided that he couldn’t continue to live unhappy and unhealthy so he determined to lose weight and quickly became more confident. Wilfred became the President of the Resident Council and started to feel good about himself again. He later led the Bible study class and participated in more activities including craft time. Before long, Mr. Wilfred was leading the exercise class and helping others.

The more he became involved with activities and helping other residents, the better he felt. Mr. Wilfred said, "The more I got out of myself and into assisting others, the better I felt. I was definitely in the right place at the right time.”

He determined that his purpose would be to be a servant and encourage others. "Coming to Hammond Nursing Home has saved my life,” said Mr. Wilfred. "It has made my journey enjoyable and given me a life worth living.”

Many nursing facilities see residents like Mr. Wilfred in their facilities every day. Nursing facilities help residents become healthier while presenting them with the opportunity to become more socially active.

Many residents become socially engaged again and are encouraged to be more active than they may be staying at home alone.




Ms. Sarah, Kaplan Healthcare Center in Vermillion Parish

Ms. Sarah is a 74-year-old native of Gueydan, Louisiana. Sarah worked in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant until health issues forced her to retire. With her medical expertise, she knew the road to recovery would be tough.

When Sarah developed a non-healing diabetic wound on her heel at home, she was treated constantly but to no avail. This non-healing wound resulted in an above knee amputation, but that didn’t slow her down. She was determined and always gave more effort than required. Before long, Sarah was walking 30 feet with a platform walker and transferring to/from bed using a sliding board.

Ms. Sarah faced obstacles that would have anyone feeling defeated or depressed. She defeated every challenge with a smile. All of her hard work and optimism has paid off. Sarah is now discharged from the facility and lives at home independently. She looks forward to receiving her prosthesis, and when she has mastered that process, she promises to come back to the facility to "show off.”



Ms. Joann, Gonzales Healthcare Center in Ascension Parish

Ms. Joann is a 79-year old native of Baton Rouge. In 2016, Joann was in a broadside collision. She sustained serious injuries including three broken vertebrae, six fractured ribs and multiple bruises all over her body.

When Joann arrived at the Gonzales Healthcare Center nursing facility in December 2016, she was unable to walk and had to lay completely flat without pillows. She was extremely feeble. She had to wear a hard back brace and heavily depended on nursing facility caregivers to complete her daily living tasks. Joann participated in physical and occupational therapy five times a week for four weeks and her condition improved significantly.

Now, rather than being confined to her bed, she can stand and walk around the facility with a rolling walker. She has regained a lot of her strength and is much more independent with her daily activities. When asked her opinion of her experience with the therapy team she said, "It’s working! I wish I could stay longer! I have made wonderful progress and I think the people in therapy are fantastic!"


Mr. Carroll, Carrington Place of Springhill in Webster Parish

Mr. Carroll came to Carrington Place of Springhill for physical, occupational and speech therapy after undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery, as well as valve replacement in his heart. He began his physical therapy journey with Carrington Place of Springhill on March 7, 2017, and was discharged back to his home on March 17, 2017, after two weeks of intense therapy.

Initially, upon arrival at Carrington Place, Mr. Carroll required assistance with all activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and ambulation. He was only able to stand for short periods of time. He had poor endurance and was limited by surgery precautions. By discharge, Carroll was independent with all mobility and most activities of daily living. He continued with outpatient physical therapy and is doing very well at home with improved endurance and increased activity tolerance.

Mr. Carroll is now home with his wife and has returned to his duties at home as the primary caretaker. When asked why he was so successful with therapy he responded, "Therapy has helped me get my strength back! I now can ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes.”

 












Mr. Leroy, Patterson Healthcare in St. Mary Parish

Many people think of a nursing facility as a place to move when you get older and can’t live by yourself anymore. However, a large percentage of residents participate in a therapy program and are discharged back into their homes. Mr. Leroy is an example of one of these residents. He is 72 years old and is a retired policeman. Throughout his career, he worked with the Morgan City Police Department and St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Department.

Mr. Leroy was admitted to Patterson Healthcare after being diagnosed with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This is an infection caused by a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics, making it extremely difficult to treat. He also suffered from cellulitis and dementia. Upon arrival, Mr. Leroy was completely confined to his bed and needed assistance with daily activities. After participating in rigorous therapy with the rehab team, Mr. Leroy has made tremendous progress. He is now able to walk around and can groom, dress, and feed himself with very little help from the staff. He feels much more comfortable interacting with other residents now. Mr. Leroy has accomplished a great deal with the help of the therapy team at Patterson Healthcare.



Mr. Howard and Mrs. Juanita, Meadowview Health and Rehab Center in Webster Parish


Spouses often become caregivers for one another as they begin to develop health issues and find it harder to manage the activities of daily living. Mr. Howard, 84, and Mrs. Juanita, 81, both from Minden, Louisiana, are an example of one such couple. During their marriage, Mr. Howard worked as a carpenter while Mrs. Juanita was a homemaker caring for their four daughters. Mr. Howard arrived at Meadowview Health and Rehab Center after suffering from pneumonia complications. When he arrived, he was extremely weak and experienced poor endurance and balance. He was wheelchair-bound and unable to complete daily living activities on his own. Mrs. Juanita joined him at the facility a year later after becoming extremely weak and unable to care for herself. She was also in a wheelchair, relying on the staff to complete daily tasks.

Throughout therapy, Mr. Howard and Mrs. Juanita participated in strengthening exercises and worked tirelessly to complete their day-to-day activities by themselves. Mr. Howard focused on problem-solving and intelligibility exercises, while Mrs. Juanita worked on core strengthening. Both of them have come a long way and regained their confidence, and neither of them relies solely on staff to fulfill their basic needs. Mrs. Juanita can now walk freely and even walks to the gym twice a week; she also washes their laundry. Mr. Howard has regained his strength and uses a rolling walker to get around the building. When asked what they were looking forward to most upon completing therapy, they said they couldn’t wait to renew their wedding vows. They will be renewing them at Meadowview and it is sure to be a beautiful ceremony. Congratulations, Mr. Howard and Mrs. Juanita!



Mrs. Melba, Marrero Healthcare Center in Jefferson Parish


Nursing facilities provide rehab services for elderly patients and in many cases, it helps them transition back to living at home independently. Mrs. Melba, 84 years old, is one example of someone who was able to return to her home after working with the therapy team at Marrero Healthcare Center. Mrs. Melba came to the facility after fracturing her pelvis and acquiring coronary artery disease. Both of these ailments prevented her from getting out of bed, walking, and dressing. She was confined to a wheelchair and relied entirely on the staff to help her. Although it was a long process, Mrs. Melba never lost hope and worked tirelessly with the therapy team for 25 days.

After countless hours of hard work with the team, Mrs. Melba has made significant progress. When asked about working with Mrs. Melba, one of the therapists said, "Mrs. Melba has come a long way since arriving at Marrero Healthcare. She was admitted needing assistance with everything and was depressed and agitated. Therapy got her moving and worked intensely with her which lifted her spirits and increased her motivation.” Mrs. Melba has recovered enough to return home and looks forward to living a healthier lifestyle with her beloved husband.


Mr. Henry, Meadowview Health and Rehab Center in Webster Parish


LNHA member facilities serve more than 10,000 veterans. What a special honor it is to serve and provide quality health care services for individuals like Mr. Henry who served in the U.S.
Navy for four years. He served in Vietnam, China, the Philippines, as well as Portland, Oregon and San Diego, California.

Mr. Henry has been a resident at Meadowview Health and Rehab for three years. During this time he had neck, back, and hip surgeries with therapy following each surgery. Mr. Henry enjoys the therapy program at the facility and likes participating in the many activities offered at Meadowview Health and Rehab Center.

Ms. Sophie, New Iberia Manor North in Iberia Parish

Rehabilitation plays a vital role in the lives of many senior citizens when they experience health issues. Ms. Sophie, 89 years old, came to New Iberia Manor North after suffering from congestive heart failure. She was short of breath, experiencing overall weakness and unable to walk. After working rigorously for many hours with the therapy team at New Iberia Manor North completing therapeutic exercises, self-care exercises, and gait training, Sophie has made tremendous progress. She can now walk on her own, get in and out of bed and care for herself without assistance. Sophie has been discharged from the facility and lives with her granddaughter and her two great-grandchildren. She was eager to get back to washing clothes, cooking and playing bingo. Another successful transition back to home after benefiting from physical therapy in a nursing facility!


Ms. Juanita, Vivian Healthcare in Caddo Parish

Many times residents arrive at nursing facilities for rehab services and then become permanent residents. Ms. Juanita arrived at Vivian Healthcare after fracturing her left hip as a result of a fall. Ms. Juanita, 88-years-old, was experiencing pain in her left hip. She could not sit or balance and was unable to walk. Ms. Juanita has progressed considerably after participating in strength, balance, and sitting exercises, along with gait training. She has regained her strength and redeemed her quality of life.

 


Mr. Douglas, Gonzales Healthcare in Ascension Parish

Mr. Douglas was admitted to Gonzales Healthcare after suffering profound muscle weakness caused by Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a condition where the immune system attaches the nerves. He eagerly participated in physical, occupational, and speech therapy to improve his strength, range of motion, swallowing and standing. Mr. Douglas has improved greatly and is now able to freely move his body and get out of bed. He can hardly wait to return home and be reunited with his lovely wife, Mary.











Ms. Cora, Meadowview Healthcare and Rehab Center in Webster Parish

Independence is important to all of us. When asked what she was most looking forward to after completing therapy, Ms. Cora stated, "I want to continue working on my leg. I also look forward to cooking again and visiting with my family.” Ms. Cora, 51, was admitted to Meadowview Healthcare and Rehab Center after contracting gangrene which resulted in the lower part of her left leg being amputated. Consequently, Ms. Cora developed poor strength and endurance, an inability to walk for extended periods of time, and she depended on others to complete daily tasks. After working diligently to improve her gait, endurance, and strength, she can now complete day-to-day tasks on her own. Ms. Cora has regained her independence and has a new prosthetic that allows her to walk on her own.









Mr. Darrell, Hammond Nursing Home in Tangipahoa Parish

Mr. Darrell is 78 years old and had a successful career as a welder. Throughout his career, he built a 75-foot barge that still floats on the Mississippi River, a de-watering gate for Georgia Pacific which works as a floodgate, and a 12-foot gazebo made completely out of metal complete with decorative rails and panels.

After several years of retirement, Mr. Darrell began having minor health issues. When his wife passed away, he visited his son and stayed for three months. When his health began to decline further, he came to Hammond Nursing Home. When he first arrived, he said it was a tough transition but soon he started making friends and taking part in the activities.

Mr. Darrell decided to maintain the residents’ garden where he grows many different vegetables each season. He tills the soil, plants the seeds, and picks the harvest. He then determined he would help keep the grounds of the facility maintained. He waters the plants and blows off the sidewalks to keep them clear for other residents. There was a maintenance issue one weekend, and Mr. Darrell helped monitor the issue until it was resolved.

He realized he still has so much more to offer and asked his son to bring his tools to the facility. He built a work bench out of scrap pallets and turned an old medicine cart into his tool storage. Mr. Darrell even made a makeshift wagon out of scrap metal. He was given an electric scooter by another resident’s family because it was not working properly. To the family’s amazement, he fixed it! Mr. Darrell decided to build a small trailer to be pulled by the cart. He repurposed an old bed frame, side bed rails, and wheelchair wheels and entered the trailer in the 2017 Craft Fair at the LNHA Convention where he won first prize. Darrell has now made four more trailers for other residents and staff members. Mr. Darrell has been named "Mr. Fix-Anything” by facility staff and residents. When interviewed he said, "If I only had my welding machine, the sky would be the limit.”

Aside from the birth of his children and marrying his beloved wife, this is the happiest he has been in his life. Mr. Darrell said, "If I stop doing something, I am afraid it will be the end.”

What a wonderful inspiration Mr. Darrell is to the other residents, facility staff and his family.

   



   

 

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