Devotion to His Wife and Good Health Led Donald Kent to Crozer-Keystone
Donald Kent distinctly remembers the turn of events that led to his wife Caroline’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. He says there were early clues, but what led him to suspect Alzheimer’s disease – or a related form of dementia – was parts of their conversation while driving home from a family beach vacation approximately 15 years ago.
As the disease progressed, Kent did everything he could to take care of his wife in their Swarthmore home by providing essentials such as food, clothing and medicine. “It’s my job to make her life as comfortable as possible while trying to provide appropriate stimuli,” he says.
At the time, Caroline had been able to walk but her legs were weak and she sometimes used a wheelchair to get around. After a hard fall, she was taken to Springfield Hospital for observation and, when discharged, placed under the care of a local nursing facility. It was at this time that the Kents became involved with Crozer-Keystone’s Center for Geriatric Medicine and Senior Health Services department, located in Springfield.
Kent is appreciative of the assistance and personalized attention that the professionals of Crozer-Keystone’s Senior Health Services department provided to him and Caroline while she was at home. “Senior Health Services did everything they could to help me take care of Caroline,” he says. “They helped me to get the equipment she needed, such as a wheelchair and hospital bed.”
While there is not much else that Crozer-Keystone can do for Caroline while she remains in the nursing home, Kent is grateful for continued support from individuals at the Center for Geriatric Medicine and Senior Health Services.
Around the same time, Kent transitioned his own primary care needs to the Center for Geriatric Medicine. He was impressed with the thoroughness of the doctors and staff, and to this day continues to go there for regular checkups, screenings and immunizations.
Kent also began to take an interest in improving his physical fitness and joined Crozer-Keystone’s Healthplex® Sports Club, located at Springfield Hospital. He was most interested in improving his balance as well as muscle strength, and entered a maintenance program recommended by one of his Crozer-Keystone physicians. At the club, he plays squash and enjoys using the track and stationary bikes. Kent became close friends with another Healthplex Sports Club member, and the two continue to play squash together to this day. “I love it,” he says. “It’s a great place to exercise, and I’m in it full-tilt. I have also enjoyed participating in a 5K race at the Philadelphia Zoo to benefit lung cancer.”
Kent intends to keep exercising, build his newly learned skills on the double bass, and spend as much time as he can with his three children and four grandchildren, who keep him occupied and are a great support when he isn’t spending time with Caroline.
“We feel very fortunate for the care we’ve had over many years at Crozer-Keystone,” he says.
The Crozer-Keystone Center for Geriatric Medicine offers a full range of primary care and consultative services for older adults, including the comprehensive Geriatric Evaluation and Management Program. The practice includes a team of board-certified, fellowship-trained geriatricians, a nurse practitioner and social worker. The practice is fully integrated with the professionals of Crozer-Keystone’s Senior Health Services department, who help connect seniors and their caregivers to local, state and national agencies. For more information or to make an appointment at the Crozer-Keystone Center for Geriatric Medicine, call 610-338-2722. Learn more about senior services at Crozer-Keystone Health System by calling 1-800-CKHS-KEY (1-800-254-7539) or visiting crozerkeystone.org/Seniors.
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