Elder Medical Care: “It has been a blessing for me”

February 11, 2022, Elder Medical Care, EMC Patient Stories

Elder Medical Care: “It has been a blessing for me”

Many people know Gilchrist for the hospice care it provides at the end of life. But Gilchrist also offers a home-based medical program for elders who don’t need hospice but could still benefit from care and support. Elder Medical Care patient Pat Richardson sat down with Gilchrist last year to share what this care meant to her. Pat wanted other seniors to know about the program so they could be helped too.

Pat’s Story

I have chronic lymphedema and other health issues that limit my mobility. Before I began the Elder Medical Care program, I was in and out of hospitals, ERs and rehabilitation. I had so many doctors’ appointments—I had to get bloodwork, sonograms and physical therapy. Trying to get to my appointments was so tedious and tapped my strength.

Pat Richardson, EMC Patient
Pat Richardson

When my doctor suggested Elder Medical Care, at first I thought he was trying to brush me off because I was too challenging of a patient. But it was one of the best things he could have done for me. Gilchrist makes care readily available by coming to me.

When my nurse practitioner Jennifer [Castello] visits me, she does a total assessment, checks to see how everything’s going and asks about any problems. She takes her time and is very thorough. She helps guide me in how to take care of myself the best I can. She will spend extra time with me to just talk.

She also prescribes medications and communicates with my other doctors, which is so helpful. When I call, I can speak to someone right away. That makes a tremendous difference. It puts my mind at ease, and I no longer have to worry.

I was very surprised when I learned about the program. When I heard “Gilchrist,” I automatically assumed hospice, but that’s not what this program is. I never knew they had a medical program for the elderly. It has been a blessing for me. In addition to medical care, volunteers bring me food, which is helpful when you have limited mobility. It’s nice to have someone help you without having to ask.

“I am grateful…”

I am so blessed to be able to spend more time with my mother and three grandchildren. I am grateful for the life I have now. I can follow the purpose I feel in my heart and do anything I want to as long as I have Gilchrist to help.

Pat Richardson and Jennifer Castello (Gilchrist Nurse Practitioner)

Things have improved with Gilchrist because I feel that my health is monitored so closely. They keep up with me so I can stop worrying and go on to live the best life I can. If other seniors are made aware of this program, it could help them as well. For anybody that needs a boost of hope or thinks they have to settle, it’s not so if you have the right group of medical people working with you. It makes such a difference.

Pat was an inspiring, kind and incredibly positive person. She was able to spend the last months of her life at home and maintain her independence, which was her wish. 

In memory of Pat Richardson.

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