I was first made aware of Brenda Rose and her company, Life Journeys, in the fall of 2010. At that time I was nursing my 82 year old mother back to relative health after a frightening scare. While she was on her annual vacation in northern Minnesota, she became so ill that she was hospitalized for 10 days and nearly died.
During that time I learned that my mother had, in fact, been very ill for months in her Des Moines, IA condo, but hadn’t really paid attention to her growing symptoms. She lived alone and rarely saw anyone who might have noticed any alarming changes. I also discovered at that time that my mother could no longer able to adequately or consistently perform basic tasks necessary for independent living. She was clearly on a path of decline.
The hospital personnel made it clear to me and my mother that she should NOT live alone any longer, which presented a problem given that I lived in Minnesota year round and my mother was in Iowa alone for 9 months. My mother and I felt scared for her future.
A referral to Life Journeys was a life line for me and my mother. With Brenda’s coordination we were quickly able to place Assisted Care facilities in the “Plan B” category, and instead built a support system for mom that would allow her to continue to live in her own condo without fear for her health and safety.
With Brenda’s assistance, my mother now has support throughout the week. Sometimes the support is merely companionship and errand running provided by a Home Health Care service Brenda recommended, sometimes it is medication management, interfacing and communicating with various doctors on her behalf, basic living problem solving, and friendship, etc., provided by Brenda two times a week.
Brenda has become a vital part of a support system that allows my mother to continue to live her life in as normal a fashion as possible. Brenda is in constant contact with me regarding physical, emotional, intellectual and financial problems that arise with an 82 year old who had slipped into dangerously poor habits of self-care and life management. With the constant coordination, I feel we are in the best position to tweak my mom’s “plan of care” as the situation dictates. Brenda monitors my mother’s physical health and quality of life, so I no longer have to worry when we are living apart for those 9 months.
My mother has been so much happier and healthier since Brenda structured her life for us. I am happy to report that any possible illnesses are now dealt with in a timely fashion, and my mother no longer feels overwhelmed. The difference is really phenomenal.
I believe that, with Life Journeys’ interface, my mother has been able to retain her relative independence and sense of structure and purpose in her life. I could not help her with that from a distance. Brenda provides the bridge by which my mom transitioned into and enjoys this new phase of her life. Melissa Holland
Melissa Holland, Eden Prairie, MN, daughter of Ellie (see pics of Ellie's Place)
August 15, 2012 At this time Brenda has been working with our family since February, 2012, when my father-in-law was diagnosed with life-ending illnesses. Since his children are all out-of-state, we needed someone who could act as our representative during meetings with the medical team and who could interact with my father-in-law to ensure a high standard of living.
We found such a person in Brenda Rose. She was able to work through the maze of hospitalization, in-patient rehab, and assisted in the transition back home. While we have 24 x 7 in-home health care, Brenda is our “eyes and ears” and is able to tell us factually what’s happening with his health and his care. Because of his diminished capacity, we weren’t comfortable that my father-in-law was telling us what he was truly experiencing but rather telling us what he wanted us to hear/know. She prepares his weekly prescription allotments, obtaining refills, as necessary, and has frank discussions with my father-in-law to ensure that he’s as comfortable and as happy as possible. We have a much better grasp on his prognosis, his standard of living and his level of care. Most importantly, though, is that my father-in-law is very comfortable with Brenda’s role as his advocate as he faces his greatest challenge – his mortality.
With Brenda, we are able to sleep well, knowing that assistance for him is just a phone call away, if needed, and that she can represent the family until we can get back to him when he needs us.
The family highly recommends the services Brenda offers. She is a calming influence, a sounding board, and, with her knowledge base, can assist when making tough decisions.
Marge & Dana Elrod, Sunrise Beach, MO
I met Brenda in nursing school more than thirty years ago, and have remained friends with her since. She comes from a family of nurses, who have been devoted to nursing and caring for others for many years. She is devoted to nursing, as well as the needs of the elderly, and is continually keeping up with what is going on in the community regarding geriatrics, home health care, and assisted living.
She has formed a group of health care professionals that meet monthly for education and networking purposes, with a focus on learning about other services that are available so that they can provide the best care for their clients. She is a professional with a heart, and isn’t afraid to prove it.
Recently, I was faced with a situation to provide some needs for my own mother. Not knowing what to do, I asked her family care physician about home health care, and was told she didn’t qualify for care. After talking to Brenda about the situation, I found that the doctor was incorrect. As a result, I didn’t give up on pursuing the care needed for my mother, and was told by her specialist that getting home health care was a wonderful idea. If it weren’t for Brenda, I wouldn’t have thought this was possible.
With the aging population, as well as the need for all of us to stay employed, our lives become complicated trying to balance the work/home situation. With people like Brenda who know their business, and have a large network of other health care professionals beside them to help, it makes our lives as grown children of aging parents become a great deal less complicated.
- Donna Wenzl, LPN, and Daughter of aging parents Des Moines, IA
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