Barbara Kulevich has enjoyed more than 50 years of marriage with her husband, Alexander; they raised their 8 children and enjoy their 22 grandchildren from their home in Marblehead but after nearly five decades as a nurse, Barbara knew that the time had come and she needed someone to look at her hip. She had been experiencing increased pain to the point where it was affecting her quality of life, she no longer was able to move and enjoy life with friends and family as she once did.
After a successful total-hip replacement surgery, Barbara had no interest in going to a rehabilitation facility. She wanted to go home to heal and recover. As an employee at All Care for over 15 years, Barbara asked that she be discharged home to get her therapy services through All Care VNA.
After three days in the hospital, Barbara was discharged home and was admitted the next day to All Care VNA where she began her rehabilitation with nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy services in order for her to achieve maximum success and mobility from her hip replacement.
Barbara’s nurse, Amy Lippa, was diligent in monitoring Barbara’s incision, making sure there was no infection and that her internal stitches were healing properly. Jessica O’Gorman, Barbara’s physical therapist, made sure to provide as much support as possible while providing consistent in-home PT three times a week, creating goals together with Barbara that were customized and achievable for her and her diagnosis. Jessica provided education regarding Barbara’s exercises, what muscles were being worked and the added benefit each one provided for healing, balance, and strengthening. Eileen Cohn, the occupational therapist, provided useful tools to help Barbara with her activities of daily living. Each team member made a point to create a personal connection with Barbara and wouldn’t end a visit until all questions had been answered and Barbara was confident in the plan of care moving forward.
Initially using a walker to get around after her surgery, because of the frequent physical therapy visits and exercise regime, Barbara quickly graduated to using a cane, then to requiring no assistance at all in less than six weeks. By providing therapy in the home environment, All Care was able to create a safe place for Barbara’s rehab, but also foster a sense of determination and accomplishment in her progress.
While she admits that the first ten days after surgery were “uncomfortable,” Barbara felt as though her team provided so much support and positive reinforcement that her rehab experience was fulfilling and rewarding. Barbara says, “They always called ahead of time to let me know when they wanted to come and to check to see if that was convenient for me. I never felt rushed at any visit or during any of my therapy, the expressions on their faces alone made me feel supported and cared for.” She went on to describe her team as compassionate, personable, and expert. Her doctor was so pleased with Barbara’s rehab that after her first follow up visit he said to her, “You look great, see you in a year!” which was music to Barbara’s ears!
One factor that Barbara felt made a huge impact on the progress of her rehabilitation was that she was able to receive her rehabilitation at home, where she was comfortable. Barbara felt an ownership in her own recovery, she was an interactive part of her own care plan and was excited to show her team every time a goal was met or a new exercise mastered. Barbara’s remarkable progress with All Care allowed her to return to being fully functional and returning to work in less than 12 weeks after her total hip replacement surgery which is an impressive accomplishment for anyone who has received a joint replacement.
Barbara’s experience is not a unique one for All Care VNA patients; All Care VNA strives to provide individualized care plans for each and every patient they care for, creating customized goals and exercises, maintaining an easy and open line of communication, and are in contact with your doctor’s office to insure all needs are being addressed and all doctors’ orders followed. While a full joint replacement may seem like a daunting procedure, All Care VNA is here to help guide you through your rehabilitation with our experienced and supportive nursing and rehabilitation staff who will give you the necessary tools to return you to your expected quality of life through expert clinical supervision, innovative therapeutic strategies, and superb customer service.
For over 100 years, All Care has been delivering the highest quality, cost-effective home health care to our patients in the 50 communities we serve throughout Greater Boston, the North Shore, and the Merrimack Valley. From VNA, Hospice, Private Care Services, Adult Day Health, and Adult Foster Care, All Care is prepared to meet all your needs at every level of care. For more information on All Care’s Joint Replacement Program or to learn more about alternative home healthcare options and accessibility, please visit www.allcare.org or call 800-287-2454.
Barbara Kulevich, RN of Marblehead top left, smiles with her VNA team,Amy Lippa, RN top right of Swampscott, Eileen Cohn, OT, bottom left of Reading, and Jessica O’Gorman, PT bottom right of Swampscott