Patient Stories -- Care Dimensions


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Caring Together: Palliative Care in Assisted Living Communities

“A lot of pluses have come out of it.” That’s how Virginia (Ginny) Cuthbertson feels about the palliative care she’s receiving from Care Dimensions at her assisted living community, Putnam Farm in Danvers. In the comfort of her own apartment, Ginny is able to visit with family and friends, watch the movies that she loves and receive care and support from our palliative care nurse practitioner, Jennifer Culgin, APRN, BC, NP.

As Putnam Farm Resident Director Ellen Graham sees it, working together with Care Dimensions’ palliative care program is a win-win for their residents and staff. “We strive to help our residents get the most quality out of life. Working together with the palliative care clinical team at Care Dimensions ensures that our residents who require pain or symptom management have access to this expertise and care,” said Graham.

For 90 year-old Ginny, this collaboration of care has made the difference in her state of mind, mobility and activity level. “The pain I had wore me out. I didn’t want to do anything. I would lay in bed dreading having to get up,” said Ginny. “That’s how bad the pain in my back was.”

After three visits from her Palliative Care nurse, who conducted a comprehensive assessment of Ginny’s symptoms and recommended changes to her pain medication regime, Ginny and her family began to notice remarkable changes. Her voice became stronger, her spirit brighter and she was eager to get back to the myriad of activities that Putnam Farm offers. “My pain just stopped being a barrier to my quality of life,” she said.

Collaboration with Facilities
For Graham and the rest of the staff at Putnam Farm, seeing this turn-around in Ginny, and in other residents receiving palliative care, reinforces the benefits of coordinated care. Care Dimensions’ Palliative Care program collaborates with assisted living communities to complement the care they provide to meet the unique needs of their seriously ill residents. Care Dimensions’ Palliative Care team is comprised of physicians and nurse practitioners, all board certified in hospice and palliative care. In addition to working in assisted living communities, they provide palliative care consultations in hospitals, nursing homes or at the patient’s home. “As palliative care consultants, we partner with other providers, including assisted living communities, and the patient’s personal physician to offer clinical assessments, recommendations for pain and symptom management and in-person follow-up visits to evaluate patient progress. In addition, we coordinate discussions with the patient and their family about goals of end-of-life care and advance directives and hospice care, if necessary.
Back to Stories

While our website will give you a better understanding about hospice care and the services that Care Dimensions provides, no one can tell the true story quite like our patients, families and staff. We encourage you to take a moment and read their stories and watch our videos.

You’ll be forever changed as you learn about life’s difficult final journey and the amazing patients, caregivers and staff who’ve embarked on the experience together.

Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in more than 95 communities in Eastern Massachusetts.