Five major surgeries and a parent’s terminal illness within nine months – that’s what Joe, 54, faced last year – and he credits the VNA of Northern NJ with helping him through those stressful experiences. “I honestly don’t know how I would have coped without the VNA,” he recalls.
Unfortunately, a hip replacement surgery triggered a cascade of additional procedures for Joe due to complications and an underlying autoimmune condition. “I was blessed to receive VNA care after each surgery. I’ve had a lot of physical therapy. Few, if any, other therapists are on the same level as my VNA team, Peter and Dan, in terms of knowledge, skills, patience and dedication.
“The regimen they designed resulted in lasting physical gains. They provided just the right amount of encouragement. The conversations we enjoyed while working together exercised my brain and expanded my horizons, too.”
Two patients in one household
“Shortly after my fourth surgery, my mother, Elizabeth, who lived with me, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We were devastated and unsure what steps to take. One call with Michele, a Patient Coordinator for the VNA Hospice, changed that. She explained how hospice works and handled all arrangements.
“The VNA flawlessly and expertly provided a variety of services without a hiccup. I continued receiving surgical wound care from a nurse and outstanding physical therapy while the hospice team provided compassionate care for my mother.
“Her nurse, Carol, was heaven-sent - knowledgeable, professional, personable and responsive to calls and texts – even after hours. Brittany, the social worker, was easy to speak with and trustworthy. She helped us work through some issues. A VNA chaplain comforted my mother and sister, too.
“Mom’s aides, Carolyn and Cathy, allowed her to retain some independence as long as possible and cared for her completely when she became too weak to assist with hygiene. Sometimes they simply sat and chatted - and that made my mother feel valued, respected and loved. Because of the VNA, her wish to die at home, peacefully, was granted.”
To learn more about VNA services or request a free, no obligation consultation, visit vnannj.org or call 1-800 WE VISIT.