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At age 78, Maria Baetens didn’t consider herself a senior. But her outlook instantly changed after her husband’s accident. 

Maria and Maurice in the gardenMaurice Baetens broke his hip falling down stairs in the couple’s home. “We were very active before Maurice fell,” says Maria.  “This happens and you sit back and realize we are getting older.” 

Maria visited Maurice every day while he was in hospital, often arriving early in the morning and leaving after dinner. At first she worried about the future and what would happen.

“For the first two weeks I thought I was going to have to look for a place (long-term care) for Maurice to go to. It was that bad. I knew I couldn’t have cared for Maurice at home on my own. Our children all live out of town and our family is overseas.” 

Thankfully, a few weeks after his hip surgery, Maurice was transferred to the Geriatric Rehabilitation Unit (GRU) at Parkwood Institute. A month later, he was able to go home. His rehabilitation continued for six weeks as an outpatient of the Parkwood Institute Geriatric Day Hospital (GDH).

Both the GRU and GHD are part of Specialized Geriatric Services (SGS) located at Parkwood Institute’s Main Building. Teams of health care professionals in SGS work together to help frail older adults regain independence after an injury or illness. Teams provide clinical consultation, assessment, treatment, education, research and evaluation. A variety of programs and services are offered through inpatient, outreach and outpatient settings.

“The care was incredible. The staff were incredible,” says Maria.  During his care Maurice was taught skills to help him regain his independence; how to safely walk up stairs, reach for objects over his head and properly use his walker. 

The Baetens were impressed by the collaboration and coordination of all of the staff caring for him at Parkwood Institute. 

“My physiotherapist helped me set goals for my rehabilitation and those goals were shared with all of my care providers,” said Maurice. Staff also provided assistance with coordinating Maurice’s transition to community care exercise programs. 

“I told my physiotherapist one of my goals was to continue to play golf with my buddies. He told me, ‘When you get out of this program I promise you, you will hit the ball ten yards further (than before)’. I haven’t tried yet – but I know, because of my care here at Parkwood Institute, one day I will get there.”

Maria and Maurice in the garden looking at flowers

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