When Karen broke her ankle, she wasn’t sure what would happen next. She was daunted by the idea of going to a transitional care unit for rehab, knowing that COVID-19 precautions would likely prevent her from seeing her family in person until she went home. But when Karen arrived at Walker Methodist Westwood Ridge in West St. Paul, her worries disappeared.
“The therapists and team members were phenomenal,” Karen said. “They took the time to get to know me.” Getting to know Karen means learning that she likes butter. And when the team learned this? “They spoiled me.” When they brought Karen meals, they’d make sure to include butter. Their light-hearted humor and kind gestures, Karen explained, lifted her spirits and put a smile on her face.
One of Karen’s favorite people—someone who teased her like a big brother but also helped her recover—was her rehab therapist, Kevin. Karen will be the first to tell you that she had an attitude. Kevin, however, took his time explaining each exercise. “He was so caring and reassuring,” remembered Karen. “Kevin reminded me of my goals, and I knew he was proud of me.” When Karen asked about how to go up the stairs, Kevin showed her instead of telling. And when Karen was having a tough day, he encouraged her and offered support. And when Karen cracked a joke, he was quick to reply with another one. “I’m thankful he was so excellent. He made me feel like I could do it.”
Karen also enjoyed her room and could often be found looking out the large windows, taking in the fall foliage and watching people on the walking paths nearby. In the evenings, aides made sure her door stayed open, just as she liked it. They checked in with Karen before they left for the night and greeted her with smiles the next morning.
When Karen was ready to go home, six team members walked her out the door. “If we weren’t in a pandemic,” Karen said, “I would have given them all hugs.”
“If anyone needs to stay in a transitional care community, and wants to know they’ll be loved, I’d highly recommend Westwood Ridge,” Karen said. “I felt—and knew in my heart—that I was cared for there. That place is amazing.”