As we come to the end of another year of service, we want to share with you the stories behind some of the faces of TRU. This year’s focus will be on a few of our staff and volunteers who have gone above and beyond to care for our community during the pandemic.
We hope you will consider making a gift in support of our work and the people we serve. Make your donation today in support of the faces of TRU.
I was working in long-term care and had been interested in the PACE model of care for a few years when TRU started building TRU PACE. Having lived in Boulder for a long time, I knew TRU as a reliable hospice with great people, so I was thrilled to pursue and land a role in the physical therapy department.
As a physical therapist, I’m here to help PACE participants reach their goals. The majority of participants are working to reduce pain or to increase balance, but they often have other goals.
One man wanted to be able to walk to his mailbox on his own. One woman wanted to be able to do stairs so she could visit her sister. One participant – an artist – wanted to be able to stand long enough to give a presentation on his artwork.
Pre-COVID, PACE participants would come to physical therapy appointments in our rehab space within the Day Center. Sometimes the gym would be hopping – it was quite a lively place! We weren’t doing many home visits and we were not using tele-care. We miss the buzz and excitement of a full day center.
When we first shut down, we scrambled to put personalized home exercise programs in place. We made a lot of phone calls in the early days to check in. I appreciated the attitude often embraced by this generation – they seem to say, “Okay, we’ve got this. We’ve lived through hardship before. Let’s do what we need to do.” They are the population most vulnerable to this illness, and they are determined and resilient.
We started seeing participants at home and by tele-care, which was a big adjustment. There was a steep learning curve for video visits, but we’re getting there. We still see a handful of participants in the rehab gym – a limited number – masked, and spaced far apart.
At TRU PACE, every team member plays a role in educating and caring for participants. It’s an honor to be part of such a collaborative team. I am really thankful during this pandemic that I have a job that I like and where I feel supported. And I’m thankful that my family is healthy.