Last updated 14 hours ago
We still don’t know what causes this devastating disease. That’s a problem—and it’s people who are battling ALS, like Pete Frates (age 29), who are changing that one ice cube at a time. Check out Pete’s website to learn more about his story and campaign to “Strike out ALS.”
I was nominated earlier this week, and proudly accepted the challenge. Watch my video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvT-jnG25jQ
(Stacey, Deb, and Vicki… we’re still waiting on you to complete the challenge!)
If you don’t know much about ALS, I hope the Ice Bucket Challenge encourages you to learn more or donate to the cause. Read More →
Last updated 4 days ago
Our mission at Independence Plus is to set the standard for healthcare at home. Our clinical managers, administrative team, nurses, and respiratory care practitioners are working together to find ways to better serve our patients and their families. Ventilator-dependent people have been successfully living at home for almost forty years, and advancements in nursing and technology continue to make it increasingly possible. Still, many others are not aware this is even possible, but we live it every day!
The real life photos and stories of our patients living everyday lives (at home!) give meaning to our work and mission to set the standard for healthcare at home. Our patients allow us to do the work we love—and they are our heroes.
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Last updated 13 days ago
Andy, along with other members of our Scheduling and Recruiting team, is getting to know our patients on a deeper level... in person and at home!
Andy: Making a Difference
“Xavier has the whole world in his hands,” Andy says with a smile.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I walked through the door,” Andy remembers.
What did Andy see when he walked into Xavier’s bedroom? “Boatloads of smiles,” Andy says with a smile almost as large as the one on Xavier’s face that day.
Marcheta: Discovering Closeness
Marcheta, Healthcare Recruiter, says visiting with our patients has given her a “closeness” with our patients and families.
Olivia: Sharing Stories
“Our patients surprise me every day,” says Olivia, Scheduling and Recruiting Manager. She continues to say that their disease processes and injuries do not stop them from being “full of life.”
Click Here to read more!
Last updated 13 days ago
Independence Plus wouldn’t be the same without our dedicated team of nurses. Mindy is one example of that.
For Mindy, it’s not just about the care. It’s also about promoting the patient’s independence and helping increase their quality of life at home. She teaches our Residents to encourage their patients to find meaning in their lives, like taking a trip or learning a new skill.
A wife and mother of three, Mindy is kind, compassionate and willing to do whatever it takes for her patients—and Independence Plus. Most recently, Mindy has been working with one of our pediatric patients who suffers from Spina Bifida. Mindy started working with this patient when she was 10 months old.
Click Here to read more about Mindy…
Last updated 1 month ago
“I’ve never experienced a makeover like this before,” says Kelly, Chapter Director at Special Spaces Chicagoland, a non-profit that creates dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Special Spaces approached Sara, age 10, and her parents earlier this year to transform Sara’s bedroom into a dream world. But Sara’s friends, nurses, and community had something even better in mind that would infuse joy and meaning into Sara’s entire home.
Sara’s parents, Rei and Dan, and teenage brother, Josh, have been fighting for Sara since the day she was born with a rare chromosomal abnormality called Trisomy 16. Ten years later, Sara now requires dependence on mechanical ventilation and 24/7 skilled hourly home nursing care. (Read Sara’s story here.)
Support rolled in from every direction to make Sara’s dream come true. More than 30 volunteers (including some of Sara’s nurses!) donated their time to help make the redesign happen in one whirlwind of a day. Corporate and community sponsors exceeded Special Spaces fundraising goal, making the five-room redesign possible. Included in the redesign were Sara and Josh’s rooms, plus the bathroom, guest bedroom, and living room.
Before the makeover, the guest room was serving as a medical supply room for Sara’s extra supplies, wheelchair, and stander. Today, it’s a place for family and friends to stay.
Josh’s computer-themed room redesign was an acknowledgment of his significant role in Sara’s life. Due to the complexity of Sara’s diagnosis and care, Josh isn’t always in the spotlight.
When asked about his favorite part of his new room, Josh looks around with huge eyes and says, “Everything!!!”
Sara’s bedroom makeover was the most complex. The team of designers needed to find a way to transform the family’s living room into a functional, safe, and dream-like space for Sara.
The redesigned space includes a hot pink sectional, new organizational system for medical supplies, and a teal desk for her nurses to chart.
Leading Sara’s bedroom redesign were the creators tokidoki, a lifestyle brand featuring Japanese anime characters and designs. Five employees from tokidoki, including the co-founder and chief operating officer, traveled from Los Angeles, California to create Sara’s special space, which included custom lampshades and drawings, as well as scrub tops for Sara’s nurses.
The Big Reveal
The love and joy surrounding Sara and her family during the reveal is unmistakable.
Sara and her family were speechless as they walked through each room. Rei, who rarely shows emotion, was drawn to tears by the makeover and the impact it will have on her daughter’s life.
Laura, RN, a nurse who has cared for Sara for the past five years, was also overcome with emotion during the reveal.
“Thank you. Thank you so much,” was overheard by Sara’s family as they peeked into each room, admiring all of the finishing touches.
At the end of the reveal, Kelly brought the group of volunteers together again: “I’m so proud of what we accomplished today.”
[To see more photos from Sara's home makeover, go to our Facebook page.]