Woman takes ‘passport’ out of nursing homeWritten by Autumn Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s not even Christmas, and Patricia Oren has already received several “blessings.”
The Gibsonburg resident was able to cut an expected yearlong stay at a nursing home down by two months thanks to the Passport Program offered through the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio (AOoA). And it was just in time for Oren to be home with her family during the holidays.
“I’m having blessings I’d never envisioned,” Oren said.
Oren, a retired teacher, said she put herself in Windsor Lane Healthcare because of lymphedema and to get her weight down. The treatment that she received allowed her to lose nearly 60 pounds.
Oren, 68, started having trouble with her lymphatic system after a serious car accident in 1968 where she was ejected from a vehicle and went into a ditch. She nearly lost her left leg, which had to be reattached and was later told she was dead for more than six minutes.
When she went on Medicaid, Oren said she was encouraged to check out Passport. The program is part of a statewide initiative designed to provide homebound senior citizens with options for their long-term care. It is operated by the Ohio Department of Aging and the AOoA. Funding comes from Medicaid.
Passport is a beautiful program, Oren said.
“It’s been awesome,” she said.
Passport provides her with meals that are delivered to her home, health care supplies and an aide who helps her dress and bathe herself. She also receives occupational and physical therapy.
Oren said having that assistance is a big help.
That is not the only “big help” Oren has received. The Helping Ohioans Move, Expanding Choice program — also known as HOME Choice — helped her transition from the nursing home back into the community, Oren said. Through the program, she received a bed and other household items in addition to her first month’s rent for her new apartment.
Oren said it helped her get her initial start.
“I’m hopefully on the way to get back to society and be a contributing member again,” she said. “I’m getting the care I need as I go along.”
Oren said she is ready to get out there so she can do things on her own. In the meantime, she is helping others. Oren said she recently helped another person obtain a GED. That brings Oren’s total to 187.
Since leaving the nursing home, she went to her nephew’s for Thanksgiving where 29 people gathered, and she is preparing to spend Christmas at home. Her daughter will travel from Virginia to visit, and her son will travel from McComb.
“I’m in a home where my family can come share it with me,” she said. “This would be impossible in a nursing home.”
Oren said being home is the greatest blessing she’s ever had.
“All of it is blessings,” she said. “I’ll never take any of it for granted.”