Community Profile: Henry J.

Henry, originally from Louisiana, has lived in Boston since 1958 where he worked for nearly three decades as a union laborer. Four years ago Henry suffered a debilitating stroke which left his entire right side paralyzed. Bound to his wheelchair, and no family in the area to support his need for medical attention and follow up, Henry was afraid he would end up in a nursing home.

At the urging of a friend, Henry came to the Rogerson Roslindale Adult Day Health Program, where he immediately began to receive medical screening for his heart condition, diabetes, and general health. A staff of RNs and LPNs manage Henry’s health to prevent escalation of illness, monitor his compliance with medications, and work with external PCPs and medical specialists to coordinate his complex care. Many external supports are provided onsite, such as regularly visiting podiatry, occupational and physical therapy, and radiology services utilizing mobile x-ray equipment that allow patients to avoid office visits and coordination of state-funded travel programs.

“The people here know me, and they take great care of me…all of me.”

The Mass. Dept. of Public Health has closed ADH Programs statewide during the pandemic. Since the physical closure of Rogerson’s programs, we have been delivering Telehealth services to keep at-risk elders safe by attending to medical and mental needs remotely. The nurses, social workers and other staff have developed a very close relationship with Henry, his family and caregivers and with his other providers. Rogerson’s relationship with Henry’s “care team,” and Henry’s access to Rogerson’s Telehealth services, have been invaluable in assisting him with his health care, social service and other needs since the closure of adult day health programs statewide. Nurses have been calling him regularly to review any potential COVID-19 or Flu symptoms, discussing his medical issues, health concerns and ensuring he has all of his medications. They will continue to help coordinate his care including assisting with medical appointments and any other concerns. Henry has had anxiety in the past related to his health, which was stabilized at Rogerson, so the social worker has been calling him regularly to provide emotional support and mental health assessment. This connection has been critical to Henry who is so thankful that he is cared about and remembered. ADH program staff continually check on any home resources he needs and make timely referrals. Henry has also started participating in social gatherings and activities held through Zoom. All of these services keep Henry connected to his community and remind him to stay appropriately active, to take care of himself and take his medications, and to have hope for his future.