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Elizabeth Alexander

Healthier With Home Care

Holy Name Patient Stories - Elizabeth Alexander

At 94-years-old, Elizabeth Alexander has had her fair share of experiences with hospitals. She’s had four children, and a few years ago she fractured her femur. She’s received adequate treatment in those situations, but she says there really isn’t any comparison to the level of care she recently experienced thanks to the dedicated professionals at Holy Name Medical Center.

In September of 2023, Elizabeth started to feel “very peculiar.” She’d been having some small problems with breathing at night and discomfort in her solar plexus, which is a bundle of nerves in the abdomen. Her daughters pointed out to her that she was gasping. Initially, Elizabeth’s daughters and her doctor were concerned that the issues were related to her blood pressure medication. Some changes were made to the medications that she was taking, but it didn’t seem to be helping.

“She really was not active,” said Elizabeth’s daughter, Fran.”She was totally flat out, on the bed or in her recliner, which is not mom.” The breathing issues and the pain in her solar plexus continued for several days, to the point that the family decided to take Elizabeth to the emergency room.

Once they arrived at the ER, the team moved quickly to treat Elizabeth for heart failure. She was given supplemental oxygen and diuretics to treat edema, which is swelling caused by too much fluid trapped in the body’s tissues. Both Fran and Elizabeth were impressed by the efficiency, calmness, and kindness of everyone they encountered.

“The way they were going about handling my problem, they gave me relief almost immediately,” said Elizabeth. “I was so grateful because I was really having thoughts of ‘this may be it,’ and they took that thought away from me right away.”

Elizabeth was in the hospital for four days, and she and Fran had nothing but praise for every nurse and doctor she encountered. “Everything was remarkably calm and quiet.” Fran said.

When she was discharged, the hospital sent Elizabeth home with a tablet so her vitals could be recorded and sent to the hospital every morning. Within ten minutes of Fran entering the information into the tablet, hospital staff would call to ensure that Elizabeth was feeling well. “It just made it so seamless and relaxing that we had that outreach and that contact should we need it,” Fran said. “It was markedly different from anything else we’d experienced.”

Along with the monitoring of her vitals, Elizabeth also received about a month of Home Care nursing and physical therapy. The nurses and therapists came in with Elizabeth’s health and healing as their goal.

“The people that came from Holy Name, came in here with a smile,” Elizabeth said. “They have this enthusiasm within them, and that they share. It means so much.”

Thanks to the Home Care visits, Elizabeth has experienced a dramatic increase in her quality of life.

Every morning, Elizabeth and Fran go for a quarter-mile walk in the park near their home. Elizabeth hadn’t been able to take this walk for two years since her fracture, but now she’s back to doing her morning constitutionals. When bad weather prevents them from taking their regular stroll, she does the list of exercises her physical therapist left her. “I’m a little reluctant to admit this,” she laughs, “But I am starting to get back to helping Fran with some light house work again. And to me it’s outstanding, I never thought I would be doing this again.”

Elizabeth feels strong and positive after her experience with Holy Name Home Care, and she has a new goal.

“I have a very dear friend, she is 104 [years-old],” she said. “I would really like to meet that number, or just skip past it a little bit.”