How did one session, admittance to the hospital and an untimely death lead to a future in senior care? Continue below to learn the story of our first member at LiveWell Health.
The first individual I worked with turned out to be tragic, yet a great learning experience for a future in senior care.
In the early stages, I was working under another individual. I was supposed to take on a client, we’ll call him Jack for the sake of this story. I had been shadowing and given the opportunity to provide service during my time as an intern. However, those instances were supervised.
As it goes, I had shadowed early in the morning. In the afternoon we separated so I could see Jack. He was an older gentleman, 93-years old, under 24/7 care. He was living with various chronic conditions that ultimately limited his quality of life. In previous sessions my supervisor created a simple exercise program. I had seen it executed and was to provide just that with Jack. I had various vitals I was to look out for, and if, for any reason, these vitals changed drastically we were to stop our exercise session until numbers returned to normal.
We spent seven minutes on the NuStep and followed it with standard standing exercise supported by a countertop. From there we moved to a couple short walks before we were back on the NuStep to finish our session. During our break periods I wanted to get to know Jack. He had told me he was a pilot after he retired. He had a model plane for each and every plane he had flown over the years. All in all, the session could not have gone better. Jack’s vitals remained within normal ranges as our exercise session continued. Before leaving, all vital returned to resting levels, signaling all was well with Jack.
Fast forward three days. Monday rolls around and I am excited for another week of learning. I was nearing the end of my time with a supervisor and successfully completed my first solo session. Upon my arrival I could feel there was something different. My internship supervisor mentioned to me that Jack was admitted into the hospital on Sunday. This began the onslaught of questions regarding our session, essentially placing blame in my direction.
Later that day we visited Jack, he had then moved to Hospice. This was my first time within Hospice, I saw first hand how quickly things can change. Days later Jack passed, he was 93-years old, and went peacefully in his sleep.
The questions began once again. I could feel I was being blamed more and more for what had happened. But how? How would I be blamed when I had done everything asked of me? As time went on I pushed away from this supervisor, for this case and many other reasons, to open LiveWell Health.
I kept the story of Jack locked in because the questions continued to replay in my head. This was obviously no way to start a career in the senior care industry. For the next two years I continued to provide high quality service to the aging populations in southwest Florida. I had built a business I was extremely proud of. Our clientele was growing and I was able to hire new team members but the effects of Jack’s case still lingered.
Fast forward, to the fall of 2019. I was in the process of building my first house in which my fiancé and I now call home. Our contractor had called us over to a project he was working on so we could see various options and gather ideas we might like to see in the future. He called us to give us simple directions where we would meet and take us up to look at the condominium. We met the contractor, he took us up to a home that felt eerily familiar. I asked him, when this home had been sold, he mentioned it sat on the market after an individual had passed. I asked, was there anything left behind before you started the renovation project? He seemingly shrugged off, “a number of model airplanes but that’s about it.”
It was at that point that I knew this was Jack’s home. All of the furniture had been removed during the renovation and I replayed that session before blurting out, “I’ve been here before, I worked with this homeowner.” At that point, I felt an overwhelming feeling of comfort come over me. It was almost as if I was supposed to be there, and this was the point where I knew that occurrences such as Jack’s happen and there was nothing I could have done differently. It was like this was the point in which I could ‘forgive’ myself for what happened and move forward in helping others live a healthier life.
Being involved in the senior care industry means there are going to be difficult cases and there will be others who pass while under our service. As time goes on, it never gets easier. The relationships created, whether you know an individual briefly or over a period of years. Although a challenge, there is nothing greater than getting to know each and every member we serve.