A Healthcare Partnership That Sets You Up For Success
Pam Leighton is not shy about the fact that part of why she moved to The Hill at Whitemarsh was to have access to high-quality long-term healthcare after her husband passed away. In addition, she was thrilled about the opportunity to live in such a vibrant luxury community that offered so many different opportunities. Shortly after moving to The Hill in 2011, Pam had both a knee and a hip replaced by her doctors at Abington Memorial Hospital.
As a resident of The Hill, she was able to coordinate her physical therapy and occupational therapy for both surgeries at Mather House, which is The Hill’s on-site skilled nursing center. The Mather House staff coordinated with Pam and her doctor in order for her to make full recoveries from both surgeries.
“My experience with Mather House was just superb,” says Pam. “The Hill provided me with transportation to my physical therapy appointments after I had moved back into my villa. And they make darn certain that you’re living independently at the conclusion of therapy.”
So when Pam suddenly experienced a ruptured Achilles tendon two years later as a side effect from medication she was taking, she didn’t think twice about returning to Mather House for her recovery. She spent an unprecedented 86 days living in rehab at Mather House before getting the green light to return home while continuing her recommended therapy as an outpatient. She knows she never would have made it through this challenging experience without the support she received from friends and neighbors at The Hill.
“The reason that I moved here is because I didn’t want my kids to worry about me, and I knew I would have lifetime healthcare,” says Pam. “If it weren’t for my amazing friends and neighbors here, I don’t know how I would have gotten through this ordeal. Every time I needed help, The Hill came through. I came here as a widow, and now this is my family.”
Beyond Healthcare: Geriatricians at The Hill
In partnership with Jefferson Hospital, The Hill has on-site geriatricians, who are all family physicians that are board certified to handle the clinical aspects of aging. Danielle Snyderman, M.D., is one of the primary geriatricians who practice medicine at The Hill, as well as serving as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University.
“The issues surrounding aging are complex, and as geriatricians, we’re experts in assessing and evaluating the needs of older patients, with a focus on functionality, medication management and how a patient’s personal values affect the decision-making process about healthcare,” says Dr. Snyderman. “We provide the same service as any other outpatient practice, just with the convenience of being in the same place where many of our patients live.”
Like Pam, many people end up moving to The Hill for its exceptional healthcare. In addition to having a team of geriatricians on-site for those who need care closer to home, Mather House, where Pam received rehab and therapy services, has a 5-Star Rating for Skilled Nursing. In fact, The Hill is one of only 200 continuing care communities in the United States with a Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities-Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CARF-CCAC) accreditation. As an independent nonprofit organization, CARF verifies a service provider’s commitment to the community, continually improving their services and encouraging feedback.
“My job is so gratifying because I get to develop these great relationships with my patients and their family members,” says Dr. Snyderman. “And the dedication of the nursing staff is superb. We’re able to take better care of people because of the interprofessional coordination and communication that goes on between us at The Hill.”
A Successful Recovery
If residents don’t see the on-site doctors, unaffiliated physicians must be accredited in order to treat their patients at Mather House. Because Pam’s regular doctor was affiliated with Abington Memorial Hospital, the nursing staff coordinated all of her care and arranged transportation for her off-site doctors’ appointments. They made the process easy, but the experience of being laid up for nearly three months was challenging for Pam, as it would be for anyone.
“While I was in recovery, I had so many friends and neighbors come to visit,” says Pam. “We had to make a sign for the door to let people know when I was out of my room!”
The social component shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to making a proper recovery. The lack of mobility and isolation that come along with lengthy rehab stays can have an impact on how well you recover after a medical emergency.
“Though we have not measured the impact of socialization during rehab stays at The Hill, I would like to think that the combination of a strong support network, meals with other patients who share similar health challenges and a robust therapeutic recreational program cannot be underestimated in the recovery process,” says Dr. Snyderman.
In Pam’s case, with her children spread out across the country, her friends at The Hill provided invaluable support that not only helped her heal, but also helped her stay motivated to return home.
“My friends and neighbors helped with my laundry, came to wheel me around so I could get some fresh air, brought me flowers and gifts and even brought in a bottle of wine for us to enjoy!” says Pam. “Eventually, I was able to go down to the Club Room to join my friends. I felt funny about it at first because we needed a separate chair for my leg, but we would joke about it and it just felt so good to feel back to normal again.”