Ohio man back on his feet after backbreaking year

When he made the switch to the Society’s Arlington location, everything changed

Heidi Jolliff and Norman Opp pose for a photo

It is safe to say we are all looking for hope wherever we can find it during the pandemic. For Norman Opp, 2020 was literally a backbreaking year. Thanks to Good Samaritan Society – Arlington, Ohio, Opp is finding normalcy again.

“I sure appreciate everything they did for me at Arlington,” Opp said.

Operation and rehab

The 78-year-old with osteoporosis who lives in Mt. Blanchard, Ohio, broke his back in February. Sadly, he had to give up his beloved Welsh Corgi “Gus” to get ready for an operation and long rehabilitation.

After 100 days at a local skilled nursing facility, Norman was still having a hard time getting back on his feet. It was frustrating because he wanted to go home. When he made the switch to the Society’s Arlington location, everything changed.

“I went there for a couple months. They started working with me and by golly they got me home,” Opp said.

Opp can’t say enough about the staff at the Society.

“They took the time to really work with me over there at Arlington,” Opp said.

Abigail Mikesell is the director of social services, sales and marketing at the Society in Arlington. She says the location specializes in physical, occupational and speech therapies.

“I think it’s all about how you approach someone and your demeanor with them and your connection that you can get with someone,” Mikesell said.

Listening to the patient and their family is a priority.

“Our end goal, especially for short-term rehab, we always want them to go home. Whatever their goal is, we start that on day one,” Mikesell said.

“I was tickled to death when they got me walking with my walker,” Opp said.

Smooth transition home

Not only did Opp thrive with the staff’s help at the Arlington location, he continues to make strides after leaving. Society physical therapist Heidi Jolliff helped Opp for a month at his home through home health care.

“He works so hard and is very motivated to do things on his own. He was just a joy to work with,” Jolliff said.

Jolliff says being able to provide that continuity of care for people is special.

“Having the same familiar faces coming to your home as what you got to know while you were working in the skilled facility. I think that’s really a blessing not only to the patients but to their families as well,” Jolliff said.

During a pandemic, providing a safe, home health option is important.

“Takes a little bit of that worry off of them of having to leave the comfort and safety of their own home. They see all the efforts that we take to make sure that we’re keeping them safe,” Jolliff said.

For Opp, the work continues. He’s taking what he learned from Good Samaritan Society and still putting it into practice every day.

“Eventually hope to walk without my walker. That’s my goal,” Opp said.

If he can accomplish that, he may think about getting another dog in the future.

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Posted In Rehabilitation & Therapy, Senior Services

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