Virginia Robinson, a participant at PACE of the Southern Piedmont (POSP), loves living independently in a Senior Apartment in Kannapolis, NC.  When asked, Ms. Robinson will tell anyone about how she is thankful to be a part of the PACE   Program, as POSP always strives to help her to continue living in her own home comfortably, and without pain.  So when life at home started becoming painful for Ms. Robinson, she knew she must go to her Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) for help.

Julie Gehrke, Occupational Therapist with POSP, and Ms. Robinson met to discuss options to improve her quality of life at home.  During the discussion Julie learned Ms. Robinson was very attached to her bed.  She actually owned her bed prior to becoming a PACE participant, and apparently worked very hard to be able to afford a bed she could call her own.  Unfortunately, her bed was only partially mechanical and therefore raising the bed up and down as needed for pain free transfers, was not an option without the strength to manually crank the bed.  As they continued to discuss options for pain free transferring, Julie also learned Ms. Robinson was not willing to get rid of her bed for a new one, unless it could be used to bless someone else in need.  “I worked too hard for my bed to just throw it away,” stated Ms. Robinson.

Knowing how important it was to come up with a solution, while respecting Ms. Robinson’s wishes to have her bed donated to someone in need, Julie reached out to Assist M.E. in Charlotte, NC.  Assist ME is a non-profit in the Charlotte area that takes in gently used medical equipment, and gifts them to low income individuals in the community.  When Assist M.E. learned of Ms. Robinson’s need to own a fully mechanical bed, and her desire to make a difference in someone else’s life by donating her current bed, they began looking for a solution.  Not long after reaching out, Assist M.E. was able to accommodate Ms. Robinson with a bed to meet all of her needs at home.

Ms. Robinson was finally one step closer to improved quality of life.  However, someone was going to have to breakdown the old bed for pick up, and set up the new bed once delivered.  Knowing neither Ms. Robinson nor her neighbors within the Senior Community could complete this on their own, 2 van drivers with POSP transportation volunteered to help with the switch.  While setting up a hospital bed is not a part of the everyday job responsibility of a van driver, Robert and James knew how important this bed was for Ms. Robinson to be independent in her transfers, and decrease her potential for falls in the home, and therefore were happy to be of assistance.

The collaboration between PACE of the Southern Piedmont, Ms. Robinson, and Assist M.E. prove that we all can play a valuable part in improving the lives of others one small act of kindness at a time.  Below is the thank you email sent to Assist M.E. from Ms. Robinson.

Dear (Assist M.E.), 

I am so thankful for the fully electric hospital bed. I really needed that bed.  I am so glad to get it. It helps me to get up in the morning with less pain. Before on rainy days, I wouldn’t get out of the bed because it was so painful (to stand up from lower bed). It just hurt too badly. Now I can lay down whenever I want to (instead of staying up all day because it was too painful and required too much effort to transfer to the lower surface bed.) I LOVE it!  

It is so good for you to help people in need. I hope you can keep it up. And I hope my bed can help someone else.

Thank you and God Bless.”    -Virginia

Minutes after picking up Ms. Robinsons bed Assist M.E. received a very important call.  There was an immediate need for Ms. Robinson’s donated bed.  When asked about the experience Ms. Robinson stated, “I felt really good…Julie never gave up on finding me help and I am so happy to know I was able to help someone else in need with my bed.”

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