A Love Story of a Wife with MS

Nathan Colburn Newsletter

Saving Transfers & Time – Local Couple with Multiple Sclerosis Found Their People

“The reason we made this investment in equipment and bathrooms is because 2 years ago Denise had to go to the hospital then to the nursing home.  She was usually an upbeat, positive person even through MS but when she was in the nursing home she got depressed for the first time in her life.  After that experience they decided they were going to do everything we can to keep her here.  With this equipment it enables me to take care of her for the rest of her life.”

Don and Denise married in 1980 and live in old town Littleton.  Don dedicates every day to caring for his wife who was diagnosed with MS 24 years ago.  Her MS is at an advanced stage and needs a lot of care and Don is her full time caregiver.  He would not have it any other way yet in order to preserve his health, and specifically his back, he needed to find ways to reduce the number of transfers.

“It was getting to the point where we needed someone to come in and survey the situation.  Someone  knowledgeable enough to know what all the options are and say you could use this or that or you need this or that.  Because we just didn’t know what was out there,” Don said.

Don turned to his medical providers at Kaiser to get some direction on the local resources.  Kaiser directed him to a local home health agency who could have an OT (Occupational Therapist) come to his home and provide a home assessment.  Nancy the OT recommended Accessible Systems and when Don came to the adapted home for the first time he said, “It was like I found my people because every challenge I had they had a solution for.”

Don worked with Dave Martin at Accessible Systems who determined that a Shower Buddy Chair, Hoyer Lift, Barrier Free Bathroom Remodel and a Vertical Platform Lift were all the necessary changes needed to keep Denise at home.  Every day the installer, Dave Sloan came into their house he would peak into Denise’s room and say good morning.  “They are people that make you feel like you have known them all your life not people that just show up to do a mediocre job,” shared Don. 

The outcome of keeping Denise at home was one yet what really made a difference in their day to day life was that what was up to 8 transfers just to bathe was now 2!  Energy was saved and time because what was up to 2 hours to bathe Denise was now 30 minutes!