Have you read about the wonderful things the Ohio Masonic Home Resource Center has been able to do for our Masons like obtaining chair lifts, wheelchair ramps, or even emergency assistance after a fire or flood? The Resource Center can help with large projects, and in emergency situations. We can also walk beside a family, offering support and guidance in getting through the everyday struggles of caring for a loved one with a chronic disease or finding the right fit for assistance to help someone through a health or medical journey.
In Northern Ohio, Worshipful Brother Rhine had been a working man all his life, but after suffering from a stroke, everything changed. After recovering, he attempted to go back to work, but unfortunately he was unable to due to complications. An ambassador in his district was aware of his situation and contacted the Resource Center. Worshipful Brother Rhine had worked for the railroad, and it would be some time until he could start receiving benefits. In the meantime, he was in danger of losing his home and everything he had worked hard for. Working with his daughter, the Resource Center was able to assist him in getting some of his bills deferred until he started receiving his benefits. We were also able to coordinate with the Grand Lodge and the Grand Almoners Fund to get him in a better situation to help sustain him until he is self-sufficient.
In Southern Ohio, we have a Mason in Gallia County who has been the primary caregiver for his wife with Huntington’s Disease for over ten (10) years. He was very tired and having significant back issues due to lifting her when she fell. He was at a Lodge meeting one night where one of the Resource Center ambassadors/volunteers suggested he contact the Resource Center. A Liaison met with the family, and also involved the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati to be a part of the care team, creating a care plan that included a referral for hospice services. Now the wife has a bath aide coming in three (3) times weekly along with a nurse who visits twice weekly. While the hospice agency provides services, medical equipment and supplies, they also are providing increased social interactions through their visits. The husband states this support has made a world of difference for him and his wife. He describes it as ‘a weight lifted’.
The Resource Center assists Masons regardless of where they are. It is common for the Resource Center Liaisons to work with our clients when they are in a rehabilitation facility or a long-term care facility. For example, a family had called after becoming disheartened at the decline of the Mason who had been at a facility for several years due to dementia. He had become bedfast and had lost significant weight. The Liaison met with the wife, explaining to her that she did have options available regarding choices for her husband’s care. After visiting other facilities in the area, the wife made a choice to move the client to another nursing facility. He is eating better, participating in physical therapy, and has become more verbal and brighter. The wife is able to continue to visit as he remains close to home. She is finding peace now that he appears to be more settled, showing improvements in both his physical health and his overall contentment.
Not only can we assist with long-term care placements, but we can ensure that services are in place when a client is discharged from a short-term rehab stay. Through our contacts with facilities and home health agencies, the Resource Center can help prevent a patient from being discharged without services or appropriate medical equipment being in place. This is critical for the patient’s well-being so that the gains made during the rehab stay are not lost after discharge. We can look at other needs to be addressed such as home delivered meals and transportation as well, to support the client’s well-being and safety upon his or her return home.