Sunrise Manor Nursing Home, now a Signature-managed healthcare facility, has set a new record for the facility.
Last week, during a two-day period, three residents were discharged to home. None of the current staff can recall that many people, in such a short timeframe, returning home from the long-term care facility in its 44-year history.
“I think a lot of people have the misconception that if they come into the nursing home, they won’t leave,” said Mark Burba, staff physical therapist. “That’s not necessarily true.”
The nursing home can be seen as a “stepping stone” between hospital and home in many cases, he said. Besides nursing care, it provides physical, speech and occupational therapy.
That’s certainly the case for three women who received therapy at Sunrise and returned home Friday and Saturday. All three had high praises for the care they received during their stay.
Lura Thomas, 80, arrived at Sunrise May 25 to recover from a broken leg.
She was working in her basement May 9, “just trying to put something on a shelf” and felt pain in her leg. The twisting motion broke the femur – the largest bone in the leg.
“I knew I was hurt, I couldn’t put weight on it,” she said.
She was taken to Hardin Memorial Hospital where she underwent surgery. She was later transferred to Sunrise.
She said her care was “wonderful,” starting when she checked in her room. Her roommate was a fellow graduate of the Hodgenville High School Class of 1948.
“We’re both hard of hearing but we tried to catch up,” Thomas said, with a laugh.
She has worked with physical therapist Michelle Downs most of her stay.
Thursday, Thomas enjoyed playing Bingo with other residents and later, sitting outside with other residents and volunteers, watched the construction crew work on the new nursing home.
Although her stay at Sunrise took longer than she hoped (she thought she would be there two weeks), she was pleased with her progress.
“They’ve been good to me, but there’s no place like home,” she said.
Thomas was a long-time secretary with LaRue County schools.
Mary Price also came to Sunrise to recover from a broken leg.
Price, 85, fell in her home April 17, breaking her leg in three places.
“I kept twisting around, trying to get up,” she said. “I finally crawled to my bed and called my daughter.”
Price said her circumstance was unusual because she has worn a medical emergency alarm around her neck for years.
“I didn’t think to use it,” she said.
After her arrival at Sunrise, she learned to do things for herself with the assistance of physical therapist Amy Skaggs and occupational therapist Allison Carter.
“It wasn’t easy the first time to dress myself,” she said, adding that she has progressed steadily since beginning therapy.
“They’ve treated me good,” she added. “I would recommend anyone to come here.”
She’s ready to “get rid of the boot,” she has worn on her injured leg during her treatment.
“Mark (Burba) said to throw it away,” she said, laughing. “I said, ‘No, I’m going to put dirt in it and put flowers in it.’ They might have to be artificial.”
Price has been active most of her life, working at Lincoln National Bank, L&N Railroad in Louisville and Hardin Memorial Hospital. She likes to work in flowers, attend church and visit with family.
She has enjoyed the activities offered at Sunrise, even joining the Signature Senior Olympic team that took top honors in an Ohio County competition in June. She competed in corn hole and her individual points counted toward the team’s win.
Friday, she said goodbye to her friends at Sunrise as she prepared to leave.
“I told them I would miss them, but I wanted to go home,” she said.
Libby Grimes has been at Sunrise since June 27, recovering from knee replacement surgery. The 62-year-old has suffered from osteoarthritis for several years but kept putting off treatment.
She had several options for physical therapy following the surgery, but decided on Sunrise because of its location to family and knowing many of the employees.
Grimes, whose background is in agriculture, also volunteered at Sunrise for many years.
“It was lucky for me that they had several beds open,” she said.
She has worked with physical and occupational therapists, setting her own goals for recovery.
“I’ve met those goals and more. I told them I wanted to be as self-sufficient as possible when I left,” she said.
She can see an improvement in her knee every day, she said, but the first two weeks of therapy were “rough.” She will continue outpatient therapy with Burba after her discharge on Saturday. In six months, she should be “as good as new.”
The physical therapy department is “so busy – getting everybody taken care of,” she said. “They do a good job.”
She praised the nurse’s aides as well.
“They’re always asking ‘What can I do for you.’ They are just as good as they can be to you.”
Burba said the women’s progress should be “put back on them.”
“Without proper motive and attitude, they would still be here,” he said. “My hat’s off to all three.”