Judy and Ernest (Ernie) Prince

Judy and Ernest (Ernie) Prince

Judy and Ernest (Ernie) Prince were first introduced to Senior Resources when they did estate planning with a local attorney. Ernie has bacterial cellulitis and was in the hospital dealing with that and some other issues; he wanted to go home.

The last hospitalization, the orthopedic physician said the best option appeared to be amputation. That weekend, there was another issue and they changed the antibiotics and it worked so well that they took him off the surgery schedule. He then was diagnosed with COVID – and so was Judy. They went to rehabilitation but his body wasn’t strong enough to heal. From there he went to a long term care facility. He learned to use a sit to stand device but needed help. “On March 20, 2022 we got Ernie home,” Judy recalled. They had built a new, accessible home next to the cottage in which they had previously resided. “I told him he was going home tomorrow; it’s like he woke up,” Judy recalled. “Now the kids come over, and friends. It’s just been wonderful.”

“Senior Resources found help when we both had COVID,” Judy recalled. “I couldn’t get my steam back. We’ve had help five mornings a week since then; I couldn’t get through the day.” The homecare agency comes for a few hours each day to help with toileting, bathing, and meals.

Physical therapy comes in to help Ernie walk a bit and he is getting stronger. He also has an inhaler, which helps. “We’re hoping to get to the point where he can stand and pivot with only one person helping.”

Senior Resources also coordinates wheelchair transportation. “We couldn’t do without it,” Judy affirmed. “It’s changed our life. They are dependable. We are blessed. We’ve had many good people helping.”

Supports coordinator Avley took on the case and met Ernie and Judy in December of 2021. “I remember calling for help to get him home. We were finally successful. We’ve seen a big improvement each month.”

Daughter Jackie said the new house came about because “mom always talked about having dad home. When he was in the hospital and then rehab, we were looking at long term care with the intent to get him home.”

“Knowing Mom has help every day is huge. The consistency is nice. Knowing there is support there is huge. It’s a relief for us (their family). We’re available and we can come and help, but some of us have families. Having someone there is critical. I don’t know how people do it who haven’t heard about” Senior Resources.

Judy said having help in the home allows her to do other things, such as staying involved in the chorale group at Evergreen Commons. “The fact that I could continue to go to chorale is a real blessing.” Their family – four daughters – are “extremely supportive.” They have all taken shifts before more help was available.

Ernie is also a patient of Primary Care at Home, the home-based primary care program of Senior Resources. “That’s been very helpful,” Judy said. “People call to check up on him every month; they even did a portable x-ray for Ernie.”

“We get a lot of use” out of Senior Resources programs, Judy said.

Now that he’s home, the family comes regularly for euchre tournaments. They have a lot of company on holidays and weekends. “His mood is improved, his cognition. He reads the newspaper. We have a good time. We’ve had the best of everything in our life, especially family. We have been blessed.”

Does Ernie like being back home? “You betcha!” he replied with a smile.

Judy recently had surgery for a hernia and needed respite care for Ernie while she was recovering; she wasn’t able to help Ernie with toileting or getting in and out of bed. Ernie spent time in an assisted living and the transportation company was able to transport him there. All of that allowed Judy to heal without having to worry about her husband, enabling her to be a better caregiver for Ernie. Judy reported the flexibility was a huge help and Ernie is doing well.

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