035Artman has been a fixture in the Ambler community for 90 years, renowned for the unique physical, emotional, social and spiritual support it provides to its senior residents. However, it wasn’t until her brother, Bill, got sick and moved to Artman for a temporary rehabilitation stay, that Kathy got to see first-hand why Artman is such a special place.

“When he first arrived at Artman, he thought we were putting him there permanently. It was a delicate situation because he was so sick,” she explains. “But the staff kept assuring him that their goal was to get him home.”

Bill was admitted to a local hospital in May 2013 for an emergency aneurysm operation. While he was recovering there, he had a fall and fractured his hip, and experienced further health complications when congestive heart failure set in.

Two and a half months later, Bill’s health had improved, but he still wasn’t well enough to go home, Kathy says. That’s when the hospital recommended the 63-year old Hatfield man continue his recovery with a short-term rehabilitation stay at Artman. As someone who works with senior communities out-of-state, Kathy says she noticed the Artman difference from the first time she walked through the doors.

“We arrived late at night. They were kind enough to find a lounge recliner chair and had it ready for him in his room. It was comforting to know he was in the best hands possible,” says Kathy.

As a short-term rehabilitation patient at Artman, Bill received daily physical and occupational therapy prescribed by his physician.

“He was so weak when he first got there that he couldn’t hold a hand of playing cards. Their goal was to make him feel good about his rehabilitation and celebrate his small successes,” Kathy recalls. “He was excited to go to therapy by the way they encouraged him with baby steps.”

Staff monitored his sugar and nutrition, and engaged and socialized with him. Kathy says they recommended word search books to keep his mind stimulated. He especially enjoyed it when they often wheeled him into the garden because he loved go outside with his grandchildren.

“How they made him stronger during his six weeks there is unbelievable,” she says. “They were building his spirits, as well as his health.”

Looking back on their positive experience at Artman, Kathy wants other families to know how caregivers truly need rest and downtime in order to be effective to their loved ones in need.

“Having Bill at Artman allowed us to get rest in the evening, because we know he was receiving such wonderful care when we were not there visiting,” she said.

She offers the following advice to patients and families looking for a short-term rehabilitation facility:

  • What type of therapy do they offer? How often is it available?
  • What social activities are offered to patients?
  • Take a walk-through at meal time. What do you observe? Are patients eating alone in a dining room? Is the staff attentive to them?
  • How will the staff address your specific needs?
  • What are your expectations?

Kathy says Artman far surpassed her family’s expectations. Bill is now living at home with his wife, at their daughter and son-in-law’s home.

For more information about Artman, contact MaryAnn McLaughlin at 215-643-6335. ext 110.

Artman is a service of Liberty Lutheran. Liberty’s family of senior communities includes Paul’s Run Retirement Community in Northeast Philadelphia, The Hearth at Drexel in Bala Cynwyd and The Village at Penn State in State College.

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