Jan 17, 2019

Local Snowbird on the Road to Recovery, Eager to Head South

OGDENSBURG – Twelve years ago Leona Miller, of Ogdensburg, had knee replacement surgery on her left leg. The day after that operation she had a stroke, leaving her fearful that the time would come when she would need the same surgery on her right leg.

In 2018 that time came. However, this time around Mrs. Miller did 10 sessions of prehabilitation prior to her surgery which took place on Dec. 4.

“I came into the therapy not sure if I was going to have the surgery or not,” Mrs. Miller said, explaining that the weeks and months that followed her first knee surgery were some of the most difficult in her life. 
Leona Millers works with Physical Therapist Megan Morrison

“Pretty early on though, Megan (Physical Therapist Megan Morrison) and I determined that I was going to need that surgery,” she said.

Ms. Morrison said the purpose of prehab is to strengthen a limb or joint as much as possible prior to an operation, something which makes the recovery significantly easier.

“Our goal with those sessions was to make her stronger heading into the surgery,” Ms. Morrison said, to which Mrs. Miller replied, ‘It certainly helped.”

Following her discharge from the hospital, Mrs. Miller spent six days at RiverLedge Health Care & Rehabilitation Center for a short-term, in-patient therapy stay. RiverLedge is also where she had done her prehabilitation and is now receiving outpatient therapy.

“The fact that I can receive all of these services at the same place is great,” she said.

While many patients end up with an inpatient stay longer than six days, Ms. Morrison said that Mrs. Miller is working hard towards the goal of heading to Florida, where she and her husband spend their winters, as soon as possible.

Mrs. Miller said that as soon as she was discharged home, she began doing exercises at home, something that was not lost on Ms. Morrison.

“You can definitely tell when they do exercises at home,” she said. “It helps their progress and makes things go a lot easier when they’re here. She’s done everything right.”

Mrs. Miller is now walking short distances without a cane or walker and has her eyes set on walking longer distances unassisted and receiving clearance later this month from her doctor to head south.

“It’s coming along,” she said. “If you need therapy for anything, this is the place to come.”

For more information on therapy services at RiverLedge in Ogdensburg, contact (315) 393-0730. For information on therapy services at Maplewood Health Care & Rehabilitation Center in Canton, contact (315) 386-4541. You may also like United Helpers on Facebook or visit www.unitedhelpers.org.

Jan 14, 2019

United Helpers Celebrates Opening of Nursing Education Centers

OGDENSBURG – Both RiverLedge and Maplewood Health Care & Rehabilitation Center are now home to state of the art nursing labs, now giving United Helpers three such labs in the county.
Clinical and Diagnostic Educator Elayne Woodcock said the labs are a nice addition, giving the organization’s staff development team tools that can be used not only for training, but for practice.
“Our nurses know their skills, but if there is something they haven’t done or had to do in a while, it’s nice for them to have this facility for them available to practice,” she said. “You can literally see their confidence increase after they spend some time in here.”  
Social Service Assistant Alissa Hawley and Assistant DON Madison Brossoit

The newly opened labs join a third lab, located at the Sparx building in Canton, where the organization’s Home Health Care staff is based.
“These are all tremendous facilities,” she said.
In Ogdensburg, where a house was recently held, Ms. Woodcock said the Nursing Education Center is divided into two parts, a classroom and a hands-on skills lab.
“In the classroom, CNA training, staff education, as well as other classes and meetings will be held,” she said. “The lab includes several different training stations featuring life-like simulation mannequins that allow staff to practice with EKGs, IVs, sutures, feeding tubes, catheters, wound treatments, Doppler readings and more.”
“We are confident that access to these facilities is going to bring the confidence and comfort level of our CNAs and nurses to a whole new level,” she said.
If you are interested in a nursing career with United Helpers, please visit www.unitedhelpers.org/employment. The organization currently has several openings for RNs, LPNs and CNAs with a variety of shifts available.

Clinical & Diagnostic Educator Elayne Woodcock shows Vice President of Development Christa Carroll a nursing cart, while explaining some of the tools inside.

Jan 9, 2019

Welcome New Hires

Please welcome the following new employees to the United Helpers family.

Ronald Farrand - Maintenance II
Jack Palmer

Potsdam Day Hab
Vanessa Kirkey - DSP

Irish Settlement Road IRA
Zachary Holmes - DSP

Jan 8, 2019

Man Regains Sight After Infection Causes Blindness

OGDENSBURG – Four months after being bitten by a stray cat, Keith Taylor, of Cadyville, woke up unable to see.
After spending 10 days in the hospital and two weeks at RiverLedge Health Care & Rehabilitation Center in Ogdensburg, Mr. Taylor is now home with sight back in his right eye, optimistic that his vision will also return to his left eye at some point in the future.
“My doctor told me it’s going to take some time for my left eye to come back. It could take six months or a year, they’re not sure,” Mr. Taylor said. 
Mr. Taylor was capturing feral cats in Ogdensburg with his girlfriend, who lives here, when one of the animals bit him on the left hand. A sore that he described as “hard like a marble” developed on his finger, but Mr. Taylor did not seek any medical attention following the bite.
“The mistake we made was popping it,” he said, pointing to his finger where the bite occurred. Mr. Taylor said that doctors told him popping the sore led to an infection which over the next four months would spread through his body eventually reaching his eyes and causing blindness.
“Imagine waking up one morning and not being able to see,” Mr. Taylor said. “That’s pretty scary.”
Mr. Taylor then went to the hospital where he spent the next 10 days being treated for the infection, which had spread through most of his body. Most of that time too was spent in total darkness.
“On the fifth day I broke down and cried,” he said. “When they told me my vision might not come back that’s when it hit me.”
Occupational Therapist Alycia Dezell said that while Mr. Taylor wasn’t completely blind when he arrived at RiverLedge, he wasn’t anywhere close to where he was just two weeks later.
“He wasn’t completely blind, but he had significantly decreased vision, no sense of color, and even a little bit of light was causing him to have really bad headaches,” she said. “To see him in here right now not wearing sunglasses is amazing.”
Over the course of his two week stay, Ms. Dezell said she worked with him using a series of reaction timing, vision tracking exercises and even a punching bag. Also working with Mr. Taylor was Physical Therapy student Chelsea Martin.
“I’m sending him home with a pretty strict program and some exercises that his daughter can do with him,” Ms. Dezell said.
Mr. Taylor, who noted his daughter lives next door to him, said that while he’s glad to be going home, he’s not expecting his daughter to take it easy on him. “Going home is not going to be a break, but I’m just looking forward to everything getting back to normal,” he said.
“I have a two-year-old granddaughter and another grandchild on the way. I want to be able to watch them grow up,” he said. “My daughter is getting married next year and I want to be able to walk her down the aisle.”
Mr. Taylor, who said he ended up at RiverLedge, because he was unable to get into a similar facility in Clinton county, said he’s glad things worked out the way they did.
“This is a great place to come if you need therapy for anything,” he said. “They go above and beyond and they’re all really good people. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
For more information on therapy services at RiverLedge in Ogdensburg, contact (315) 393-0730. For information on therapy services at Maplewood Health Care & Rehabilitation Center in Canton, contact (315) 386-4541. You may also like United Helpers on Facebook or visit www.unitedhelpers.org.

From left, Occupational Therapist Alycia Dezell, Keith Taylor, Occupational Therapist Brianna Baillargeon and Physical Therapy Student Chelsea Martin.

Dec 28, 2018

Welcome New Hires

Please welcome the following new employees to the United Helpers family.

Markie Willard - Task Aide

Michael Carr - Food Service Attendant
Laurie Humes - RN

Maplewood Assisted Living
Mary Franklin - Home Health Aide
Lorrena Jenks - Home Health Aide

Centennial Manor IRA
Heather Aschenbrenner - Mental Health Counselor

Bernard Avenue IRA
Zachary Bovee - DSP
Amber Dalland - DSP

Potsdam Day Hab
Kaylee L'Orange - DSP

Lisbon IRA
Nichole Davis - DSP

Flackville Road IRA
Hanna Ceresoli - DSP
Garland Hams - DSP
Victoria Mallette - DSP

Irish Settlement Road IRA
Randi Friede - DSP

Dec 14, 2018

Welcome New Hires

Please welcome the following new employees to the United Helpers family.

Megan Butler - Task Aide
Hugh Herron - Information Systems Administrator
William Taylor - Food Service Attendant

United Helpers Home Health Services
Brooke Downing - Task Aide
Keely Smutz - Home Health Aide

High Street IRA
Rachel Prashaw - DSP

Spruce Street IRA
Jordan Adams - DSP
Charmaine Shaver

Lisbon IRA
Devon Crosby - DSP

Flackville Road IRA
Michelle Skidds