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Published on March 28, 2018

Home Care was There when They Needed it Most

Sandra Saunders and Agnes Sopczynsk - MidMichigan Home Care patientsAgnes Sopczynski and her daughter, Sandra Saunders, said their experience with MidMichigan Home Care has been nothing less than fantastic.

When Agnes Sopczynski fell and broke her right hip in June of 2017, her daughter and caregiver, Sandra Saunders, knew recovery would be challenging. She also knew she could get help from the dedicated health care professionals at MidMichigan Home Care. “Mom had broken the other hip in 2012 and MidMichigan Home Care helped us then, too,” she said.

After surgery to repair the hip, Sopczynski weathered minor complications, including breathing issues and fluid buildup, and weeks of rehab. However, she was still in pain three months after having the hip repaired. After six months, X-rays showed that the bones had not healed. “In December, Mom had to have a partial hip replacement because it would not heal,” Saunders said. “She had to have two major surgeries within six months.”

When the women returned home after the December surgery, Saunders was relieved to know that MidMichigan Home Care would see her mother frequently. “Just moving from the hospital to rehab, then home to me and my husband was hard,” she said. “They made the transitions easier.”

“I count on those ladies so much,” Saunders said. “We worked with them for the first time back in 2012. They were great. We worked with them again this past June and started again in January.”

Saunders said a home care nurse sees her mother once a week, a physical therapist comes twice a week, and until recently, an occupational therapist would work with her once a week. “A home health aide comes twice a week to help with a bath,” she added.

Having health care professionals keeping a close eye on her mother relieves some of the stress of full-time caregiving. “I have a hard time getting her in and out of the house by myself, so it’s great that she gets checked out regularly without having to leave home,” Saunders said.

“During one visit, Rachel, her nurse, noticed Mom’s breathing was heavy and her heart rate was low,” Saunders said. Saunders followed up and took her mother to Urgent Care. “Rachel called the next day to see how Mom was doing. That’s the kind of people they are.”

Physical therapy helps keep Sopczynski mobile. After the hip replacement, her foot began turning inward causing a potential trip and fall hazard. “Her physical therapist, Julene, has been Mom's inspiration and motivator to get her up and moving. She is a very caring person and has done so much for us,” Saunders said.   “Mom is a hard worker – she doesn’t say no to any therapy. She may never be able to totally straighten out her foot, and she will always need a walker, but she is making progress because of therapy. I would never have been able to do for Mom what they have done for her.”

Saunders said every bit of progress made and strength gained helps, as does the knowledge she has gained from the MidMichigan Home Care team. “I’ve learned so much. They taught me how to lift, how to put her in bed, how to go from wheelchair to walker, how to sit – there is a right and wrong way,” she said.

Full-time caregiving is rewarding and exhausting. Just as her mother needs help with day-to-day care, Saunders needs the help provided by MidMichigan Home Care. “Our experience has been fantastic,” she said. “I could not have done this without them.”

MidMichigan Home Care provides a variety of health-related products and services that help individuals remain independent at home. Home care can help patients avoid admission to a hospital or nursing home, providing care in the comfort of their homes. Those who would like more information about MidMichigan Home Care may visit www.midmichigan.org/homecare.

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