PATH Program gets Bob back to life

5-10-16 091When it came time to sell his home two years ago and find a new place to live with less maintenance, Bob (Robert) Andrews knew just where he wanted to go.

“My house was up for sale for about a year. It was getting to be too much for me. There comes a time when it’s necessary to make changes, and it’s one I knew would eventually be inevitable — and at that time I was 89,” said Bob.

“There were several reasons why I wanted to come live here at Presbyterian Manor. First, I had attended the Presbyterian Church here in town. And second, my house was two blocks down the street, and I passed by here every day. The Manor was my first choice. I knew there was an independent living unit out front available, so when I got the house sold, I immediately got down here and inquired. It was a great relief to find out it was open. This is such a nice place, and I especially like the food!”

It’s more than just the location and food that have kept Bob happy here. His recent stay in our PATH (Post Acute to Home) program quite literally helped him get his life back.

“This past winter, I got ill. I came down with pneumonia. I called over to the Manor, and they sent Michelle, the head nurse, to see me. She took one look at me and said we need to call an ambulance,” said Bob. “I was in the hospital for five days. When I was released, I wasn’t strong enough to go back and live on my own, so I came back to the manor and stayed in the rehab unit for five weeks.”

Bob was nursed back to health, and the physical therapy program he completed helped him build more strength than he had when he originally fell ill. He found camaraderie with a group of fellow patients, which made his stay even more enjoyable.

“ The people here are very helpful and easy to work with. The nurses upstairs are helpful, and the food was good. I had a nice table of people that ate with me, and we had a nice time. Some of the older residents here kept looking at us because we were laughing and carrying on. We were the party table!” said Bob.

Now that Bob has “graduated” from the PATH program, he’s back to enjoying life.

“I feel even stronger now than before I got sick. It was what I needed. I’ve even been going down to the hospital to exercise one or two times a week. And when the weather got good I planted some geraniums and other flowers there in my little planting area,” said Bob.

We’re grateful Bob is back to his old self, and we welcome you to learn more about our PATH program when you or a loved one are in need of rehabilitation after a hospital stay. Contact Sharla Hopper at 620-421-1450 or

Nurses make it possible

Front Row: Janna Baker, RN, Michelle Lever, RN, Shannon Brown, LPN, Amber Conrad, RN, Stephanie Rankuhi, RN. Back Row: Sharon Searles, RN, Allison King, RN, Mary Canada, LPN, Natasha Jones, LPN, Kaylee Kinsch, RN, Paula Stukey, RN, Judy Marsh, RN.

Front Row: Janna Baker, RN, Michelle Lever, RN, Shannon Brown, LPN, Amber Conrad, RN, Stephanie Rankuhi, RN.
Back Row: Sharon Searles, RN, Allison King, RN, Mary Canada, LPN, Natasha Jones, LPN, Kaylee Kinsch, RN, Paula Stukey, RN, Judy Marsh, RN.

While we celebrate and appreciate nurses and all they do throughout the year, we took some time in May during Nurses Week to honor the great nursing staff we have here at Parsons Presbyterian Manor.

Nurses Week begins every year on May 6 and ends on May 12 (Florence Nightingale’s birthday). To thank our nurses for all of their hard work and loving care of residents, we treated them to a different gift each day, including a survival kit, a name plaque with adjectives describing each of them, a luncheon, cake and punch, and more.

Health Services Director Michelle Lever said, “I believe our ultimate goal as nurses is to try to make every day the best it can be for our residents by doing whatever it takes. No matter how small something seems, it could be what made their day. In our profession, the residents may remember you or they may not. They do, however, remember how you made them feel.”

Why I decided to make friends with death

We know we will die someday, so we must accept and plan for it

By Irene Kacandes for Next Avenue


Credit: Getty Images

(This article was written as a part of The Op-Ed Project.)

While we may fear meeting death alone, most of us are actually more afraid of dying surrounded by the wrong kind of people — that is, by health care workers.

Yet that is all too likely to be our fate. Statistics are squirrely, but many point in this direction. Seven out of 10 Americans express the wish to die at home. More than 80 percent of patients say they want to avoid hospitalization and intensive care at the end of life. And yet, the current reality is that about three-quarters of us actually die in some kind of institutional setting.

What is the source of this disconnect? As someone who has spent most of the last 15 years grappling with loved ones’ life-threatening illnesses and deaths (and co-authored a book on the topic), I’ve come to the conclusion that it starts with our attitudes — with our failure to recognize that our births guarantee our deaths.

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5 things to do during and after a hospital stay

Tips for making your time there as painless as possible

By George H. Schofield, Ph.D. for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

Any hospital stay can be a revelation. When it’s totally unexpected, the experience can be even more fraught with surprises. I speak from personal experience and have some advice based on it.

Last year, I had pain severe enough to require a middle-of-the-night visit to the ER. It turned out to be kidney stones — stones that felt like boulders and required an invasive procedure (a ureteroscopy) to view, measure and then zap them into dust. Star Wars inside my body while I was out cold.

The procedure was performed at a great hospital. I had a great specialist. It all went well.

Even so, as I was recovering, I realized just how important it is to be prepared for a medical emergency that requires hospitalization. What if the searing pain was a symptom of something far more serious — something that rendered me unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, such as what follows a stroke? What about an injury while I was out bike riding or a car accident?

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Purposeful aging: A model for a new life course

New possibilities for older adults produce dividends for all

By Paul H. Irving for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

Editor’s note: This article is part of Next Avenue’s 2015 Influencers in Aging  project honoring 50 people changing how we age and think about aging. Paul H. Irving was a member of the 2015 Influencers In Aging Advisory Panel.

Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of, offers an insightful observation about the promise and potential of longer lives. “Thousands of baby boomers each day surge into their 60s and 70s,” he wrote in a recent article for The Wall Street Journal. “It’s time to focus on enriching lives, not just lengthening them; on providing purpose and productivity, not just perpetuity.”

While population aging brings health, financial and social risks, an understanding of the opportunities is emerging. At the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging,  we study, convene, report on and respond to these risks and opportunities, searching for solutions to bring beneficial change. Joining with others who share our vision, we believe that it’s time to challenge conventional wisdom and established norms — that new possibilities for older adults hold promise for strengthening societies, expanding economies and improving life for all ages.

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5 ways to keep your kids from fighting over your will

Follow these rules now to prevent a family war later

By Patrick O’Brien for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

It is your worst nightmare. You’ve passed away, and now your adult children no longer speak to each other. Circumstances around your death have destroyed the family you spent your life building. As the CEO and co-founder of, I’ve seen this all too often.

But this terrible scenario is preventable, if you plan properly.

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The 2 big misconceptions about long-term care

Cautionary words from a Next Avenue Influencer In Aging

By Sudipto Banerjee for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

(Editor’s Note: This article is part of Next Avenue’s 2015 Influencers in Aging project honoring 50 people changing how we age and think about aging.)

There are many uncertainties in retirement. For example, we don’t know how long we are going to live, what the interest rates will be or how the stock market will behave. But one thing is nearly certain: our health will decline as we age.

That means at some point, most of us will face serious functional limitations and, in the event of serious health shocks, maybe even permanent disability. As a result, a large number of older Americans might require professional medical care at home or in institutions such as nursing homes. But there is a lack of awareness about the risk of long-term care because of two big misconceptions surrounding the topic.

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Why am I just getting allergies?

Allergic reactions can strike adults, and here’s what you can do

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue


When my daughter was two, I took her and her older brother blueberry picking near our hometown of Arcata, Calif. The farm owners weren’t too concerned about children “sampling” the goods. So my kids scarfed plenty of fruit before we got out of there with a full bucket.

The next day, a red rash blanketed my daughter’s torso. She was allergic.

Now that she’s a teenager, the allergy has disappeared. Allergies are funny that way. We often grow out of the ones we had as children.

But — as many of us know all too well  — we can also grow into allergies as adults.

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This play puts Alzheimer’s caregivers in the spotlight

By Deborah Quilter for Next Avenue


Credit: Photo by Carol Rosegg Caption: (L to R) Sharon Washington, Marjorie Johnson, Finnerty Steevens.

If you have ever cared for an older person with dementia or Alzheimer’s, a new play by Coleman Domingo (who’s also an actor and director) running through March 23 at  Manhattan’s Vineyard Theatre will likely touch a nerve. Though Dot focuses on a middle-class black family from West Philadelphia, audience members who stayed for a discussion about caregiving after the performance I attended found the message of this comedy-drama universal.

Shelly, sympathetically portrayed by Sharon Washington, is the put-upon daughter who performs the lion’s share of her mother Dotty’s care. Shelly, who also has a 9-year-old son, is already at the boiling point when the play opens. If we could see her blood pressure, it would be through the roof.

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PMMA observes Older Americans Month

ShowcaseB_300x250For more than 50 years, the contributions of older adults in the U.S. have been recognized every May during Older Americans Month. President John F. Kennedy established the observance in 1963 as Senior Citizens Month, encouraging us all to pause and pay them tribute.

Since then, Older Americans Month has evolved into a celebration of older adults’ ongoing influence in all areas of American life. Spearheaded by the Administration for Community Living, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the agency stages activities throughout the month to raise awareness about important issues facing older adults and to highlight the ways that they are advocating for themselves, their peers and their communities.

The theme for Older Americans Month in 2016 is “Blaze a Trail.” According to the Administration for Community Living, this theme “emphasizes the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and blazing a trail of positive impact on the lives of people of all ages.”

Consider what older adults have done in the years since 1963, when only 17 million Americans were age 65 or older. Now, the number is more than 44 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s about 14 percent of the population. About 22 percent of men 65 and older remain in the workforce, as do 14 percent of women.

Many older Americans continue to serve as leaders in our economy, politics, the arts, business, and much more. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. Is 69. Actress Rita Moreno is 84. And Ruth Bader Ginsberg, at age 83, has been a Supreme Court Justice for nearly a quarter of a century.

While Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America provide quality senior services guided by Christian values year-round, we will use Older Americans Month 2016 to focus on how older adults in our community are leading and inspiring others, how we can support and learn from them, and how we might follow their examples to blaze trails of our own. Find out more about the observance at


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