“They treated her as if she were their own grandmother.”
Denton’s mom, Joyce, is no stranger to ER visits. At 100 years young, she has struggled with frequent urinary tract infections. Ordinarily, she’s sharp and alert, but when one strikes, disorientation and confusion sets in.
That’s how Denton knew it was time to take her to the ER at Chandler Regional Medical Center in early September. Based on previous visits to the hospital for the same problem, he was expecting a long stay. But this time was different: Joyce was offered enrollment in the Dignity Health Home Recovery Care program, which sends eligible patients home to finish their course of hospital treatment.
“I’ve had 14 surgeries myself and I’ve been my mom’s caregiver for seven years. Never in my life have I seen anything as well-run and well-coordinated as this, and I’m hard to impress,” Denton shared. “Instead of lying in a hospital bed for 12 days like she did the last time she had a UTI, she was home in two days.”
Joyce was sent home where she lives with Denton and his wife. She was set up with remote patient monitoring devices and a tablet for virtual physician visits, and her care included twice daily nursing visits, IV antibiotics and physical and occupational therapy. Denton recalls how “smoothly” the technology worked: “We could take her pulse ox and the reading went right from the pulse ox to the computer.”
Denton says the nursing care was a great benefit to both his mom and her entire family. “I was so impressed with not just the quality of care but the kindness they showed my mother,” he shared. “They treated her as if she were their own grandmother.”
He continued, “when people get older, and they start to feel like a burden, that’s when they have real issues. But the nurses, they made her feel like the most important person they ever dealt with. That is so important.”
He also says that from his perspective, his mom thrived and recovered more quickly at home. “When you’re in the hospital, all you want to do is get well enough to get home and feel better,” he said. But at home, “the little things make a difference- my mom is not a big breakfast eater, but she has a little yogurt every morning; well, you don’t have your favorite yogurt in the hospital. At home she could have her favorite yogurt. Even coffee tastes better at home. When she got home, I made her a cup and she said ‘Oh, this tastes so good!’’’
Not only that, but Denton notes that visitors are limited in the hospital. However, once his mom returned home, “She could have everyone sit around the table for dinner and joke and laugh and feel alive again.”
Denton concludes, “I’m a firm believer that every place should have a program like yours. This is good for everybody involved.” He also feels that the proactive care his mom received might even help her avoid another UTI and trip to the hospital. “[The nurse practitioner] scheduled an appointment for her to see a urologist to find out why this keeps happening- something her family doctor didn’t even do.”
“I can’t say enough good about it.”