Homecoming for Ruth................
***Coming to Tennessee Health Care truly was a homecoming for Mother, Ruth ____. She was born and raised in ______________, Tennessee, taught school and worked for the Department of Child Services, and had been active in the Presbyterian Church and the community at large. Mother “knew everyone” and “everyone knew” her.
***When I first walked into the facility to evaluate whether it was the right place for her, I saw Karen, Janet, Maria, Gail, Sandra, Brenda, Phyllis, and several other staff members I knew from different times in my life. The huge smiles and welcoming words of comfort made me know that this was the place for Mother.
***Mother had been in an assisted living facility for three years, but following several months of a serious illness and surgery at UT Hospital, she moved into a large nursing home in Knoxville. We, my brother, sister, cousins, and I, were never happy with the care she was receiving there, but since my brother and sister lived in Knoxville, it seemed the logical place for her to be at the time. When my sister moved out of state, we decided that, since I was retired and my brother was still working, it made sense for her to be closer to my home, which is in ________________.
***After researching and visiting every facility between Knoxville and _____________, we came to the conclusion that THC was as good, if not better, than the others. The first time I walked in the door for a tour of the building, etc..... I was greeted with smiles and welcoming from the ladies I mentioned above. These ladies, along with other staff members whom I met, put me at ease and made me feel that, yes, this was the right place for Mother. I have to say that our aunt and my husband’s grandfather had been at THC many years before, and at that time, we weren’t so impressed. Many improvements had been made besides just staff changes. The cleanliness of the facility was the most apparent change! There was no “nursing home” smell! I still don’t know how that is accomplished!
***When Mother moved in, she was surprised by how many of the staff, residents, family and visitors of residents, that she knew. She was also happy that many of her friends from ___________ were now able to visit her more easily. She loved the activities such as playing Bingo, getting manicures, visits by the Garden Club, visits by children from church groups, musical programs, the fall festival, and others. Mother was always a very social person, so these events were important to her.
***However, as time went on, she was less aware of what was going on around her, less able to enjoy the activities, and not able to recognize as many people. Even though, it became harder for her to communicate her needs and wants, she was still treated with dignity and respect by the staff.
***There were a few times that my siblings, cousins, or I had questions and concerns about Mother’s care, but each time these were addressed by the administration very quickly. We felt comfortable talking with all staff members about any issues.
During Mother’s last night, while my cousin and I sat by her bed, several staff members came by to check on us, bring us food, make sure our needs, as well as Mother’s, were being met. One CNA even came in to sing to Mother. After Mother took her last breath, we were treated with utmost respect, care, and love by staff members. Some even came to Mother’s room and cried with us.
***I would not hesitate to use THC for another relative or even for myself in the future.