Tribune Print Share Text

Facing knee-replacement surgery?

Maris Grove’s continuing care gleans excellent results for outpatient rehab

Created date

October 22nd, 2013

Residents of Maris Grove, Erickson Living's community located in the rolling hills of Delaware County, Pa., enjoy an enviable and carefree lifestyle. They also have access to a full continuum of on-site care should they ever need it. One component of that care, rehabilitation at Maris Grove's on-site rehabilitation and continuing care neighborhood, is also available to people who don't live at Maris Grove. They receive the same expert therapy and exceptional person-centered care as do those who live at Maris Grove. They have their own private room, and a board-certified, full-time Maris Grove physician serves as their primary care doctor. Maris Grove's physicians keep regular office hours at the community's full-service campus medical center. The doctors also hold office hours at the rehabilitation and continuing care neighborhood.

Extensive experience

The therapists at Rose Court are all licensed Maris Grove employees who have extensive clinical experience. They are experts at devising specialized therapy programs that achieve optimal results for older adults. "Because of their depth of experience, we don't shy away from any diagnosis," says Assistant Rehabilitation Manager Tara Schwartz. "From knee and hip replacement rehabilitation to spinal chord injury and uncommon neurological disorders, we have the expertise to do it all." Continuing Care Administrator Danielle Hammer says that 95% of their short-term rehabilitation patients do not transition to a higher level of care. "They return to their prior living situation," she says.

Superior care

Before West Chester resident Lin Ziering underwent knee replacement surgery this summer, she arranged to do her rehabilitation at Maris Grove. Lin heard about the rehab programs from friends who live at Maris Grove, so she called for information. Then she came for a personal tour. "And when I found out my dog could visit me, that was the clincher," she says. Because her surgery was elective, Lin received therapy seven days a week. "We've found we have better outcomes for elective hips and knees when patients have this intensive level of therapy," says Schwartz. "Barbara Pezick, my physical therapist, was wonderful," Lin says. "All the nurses, aides, and everyone on staff was so pleasant, professional, encouraging, and sweet in every single way. It was a fabulous experience." Mingling with other patients over restaurant-style meals in the dining room let Lin make friends easily, too. She's since learned that the gains she made put her far ahead of what most people achieve elsewhere. She expects to eventually have her other knee replaced and will return to Maris Grove for rehabilitation.

Exceptional program

Last year, when Cherry Hill, N.J., resident Albert Bortnick needed rehabilitation following a stroke, his daughter Connie Lipson recommended he come to Maris Grove. She knew about its rehabilitation program because she lives nearby in Garnet Valley. During the stroke, Albert fell and also injured his leg. He couldn't walk, so therapy to restore his balance became an important part of his rehabilitation program. The thoughtful care he received from every Rose Court staff member left an indelible impression. "They took such good care of me," says Albert. "In truth, I enjoyed it so much that I didn't want to leave." And in a way, he never did. Albert completed his three weeks at Maris Grove last September and in December moved into an apartment home at Maris Grove. His two sons, who live in New Jersey, now drive a little farther to visit him. And his daughter, who lives nearby, has gained tremendous peace of mind knowing her dad is no longer alone in that large four-bedroom house. Albert is reveling in his life at Maris Grove, citing one example after another to illustrate his happiness. "For instance, I never encounter anyone here without them saying, 'Hi,'" he says. And when he hosts parties at his one-bedroom Brighton-style home, "It's so easy to clean up afterward." More importantly, while his new address costs him no more than living in his house, it provides a sense of security he considers priceless. Earlier this year, when Albert triggered his smoke alarm, he didn't know how to turn it off. A few minutes later, Maris Grove security personnel showed up to see if everything was okay. "I felt so secure," Albert says. Even his doctor and dentist are just downstairs in Maris Grove's medical center, and his specialists hold office hours on campus every month.

More than just excellent care

Visits from resident volunteers take the sting out of recovery. After Maris Grove resident Win Moss underwent double knee replacements, she expected a smooth recovery. Instead, the resident of Erickson Living's community in Delaware County, Pa., developed post-operative infections and complications that required four more surgeries on each knee. For nine months, she alternated between additional hospitalizations and short-term rehabilitation stints at Maris Grove's on-site rehabilitation and continuing care neighborhood. Win received excellent care from the entire Rose Court staff. But what lingered with her most were the Maris Grove resident volunteers who visited her.

Up to date with goings-on

"They were my lifeline to the world," she says. When Marie Neugebauer delivered Win's mail, she also brought Win up to date with goings-on at Maris Grove. When Bill Eichelberger, Rose Court's listening ear and unofficial chaplain, stopped by, he passed along news about Maris Grove's choral group. Bill's wife and Win both sing in the chorus. "My around-the-corner neighbor, Kathy Maculaitis, also came," Win says. "I'd only lived at Maris Grove a year, so I was amazed that people I'd barely met would visit me. It made me realize it's important to visit and make a connection." Now Win volunteers, too. She leads continuing care residents in twice-a-month Saturday singing sessions. She loves it when attending spouses share memories and stories triggered by lyrics in old favorites like "A Bicycle Built for Two." Volunteerism lies at the heart of many activities at Maris Grove. It also underscores Erickson Living's mission statement: We share our gifts to create communities that celebrate life.