Have you read about the wonderful things the Ohio Masonic Home Resource Center has been able to do for our Masons like obtaining chair lifts, wheelchair ramps, or even emergency assistance after a fire or flood? The Resource Center can help with large projects, and, helping out in emergency situations. We can also walk beside a family, offering support and guidance in getting through the everyday struggles of caring for a loved one with a chronic disease or finding the right fit for assistance to help someone through a health or medical journey.
In Southern Ohio, we have a mason in Gallia County who has been the primary caregiver for his wife with Huntington’s Disease for over ten (10) years. He was very tired and having significant back issues due to lifting her when she fell. He was at a lodge meeting one night where one of the Resource Center Ambassadors/Volunteers suggested he contact the Resource Center. A Liaison met with the family, and also involved the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati to be a part of the care team, creating a care plan that included a referral for Hospice Services. Now the wife has a bath aide coming in three (3) times weekly along with a nurse who visits twice weekly. While the hospice agency provides services, medical equipment and supplies, they also are providing increased social interactions through their visits. The husband states this support has made a world of difference for him and his wife. He describes it as ‘a weight lifted’.
The Resource Center assists our masons regardless of where they are. It is common for the Resource Center Liaisons to work with our clients when they are in a rehabilitation facility or a long term care facility. For example, a family had called after becoming disheartened at the decline of the mason who had been at a facility for several years due to dementia. He had become bedfast and had lost significant weight. The Liaison met with the wife, explaining to her that she did have options available regarding choices for her husband’s care. After visiting other facilities in the area, the wife made a choice to move the client to another nursing facility. He is eating better, participating in physical therapy, and has become more verbal and brighter. The wife is able to continue to visit as he remains close to home. She is finding peace now that he appears to be more settled, showing improvements in both his physical health and his overall contentment.
Not only can we assist with long term care placements as above, but we can ensure that services are in place when a client is discharged from a short term rehab stay at a nursing facility. Through our contacts with facilities and home health agencies, the Resource Center can help prevent a patient from being discharged without services or appropriate medical equipment being in place. This is critical for the patient’s well-being so that the gains made during the rehab placement are not lost after discharge. We can look at other needs to be addressed such as home delivered meals and transportation as well, all to support the client’s well-being and safety upon his or her return home.
Masonic Volunteer Program Collaborates with Residential Facilities in SE Ohio
Arthur, a mason for over 60 years, resides in an Assisted Living Center in Southern Ohio. Due to staffing problems, Arthur was not receiving the care he needed. Utilizing the Ohio Masonic Home Resource Center Liaisons in his area, this gentleman was able to improve his care, as well as the services to all the others in his center. Our Liaisons met with the center Director and local Ombudsman, to help change policy and implement new procedures that enhance the quality of life for Arthur and his neighbors. Volunteers continue to visit Arthur and help monitor the changes as improvements are made.
Paige, an Eastern Star member for 45 years, was living in an Independent Living Facility in SE Ohio when she was put on dialysis. The facility could only assist with transportation once a week, and Paige needed to go three times a week. Our volunteers were able to fill in the gaps, allowing Paige to remain in her apartment. Volunteers are also helping Paige with her grocery shopping.
Terry Way (Harmar 390) is a resident of a Harmar Place, a United Church Homes property in Marietta, Ohio. Due to insurance regulations, Terry can only get restorative physical therapy twice a week, but Terry was determined to exercise on a daily basis to maintain his strength and balance. The Resource Center Liaison was able to connect volunteers with the PT staff for training to work independently with Terry on exercises he could do on his own time, with assistance. Four volunteers are going on a regular basis to visit and exercise with Terry. This enhances his quality of life and Terry now looks forward to his activities. Volunteers also helped Terry hang pictures and masonic memorabilia in his room to make it feel like home. Liaison, DeAnna Kinney, works closely with Social Worker, Amanda Stotts of Harmar Place, to coordinate services for Terry and make sure he gets the best care available.
After going several times into Harmar Place, our volunteers were able to identify two other masons residing there! The gentlemen were unaware of their neighbors’ masonic affiliation until the volunteers introduced them. Volunteers now visit all three gentlemen who also now spend time with each other. The Resource Center Liaison has an excellent partnership with Harmar Place staff, allowing our masons to utilize their excellent services. As part of their intake process at Harmar Place, Amanda asks new residents if they have any masonic affiliation so that we can follow up on any additional needs.