Easing Arthritis Pain - and Much More
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Northern Virginia News 2014 Archives Easing Arthritis Pain - and Much More

Easing Arthritis Pain - and Much More 

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WOODBRIDGE, VA (May 27, 2014)
From hospital to home care, Sentara treats the whole person

JoAnn Nelson-Hooks has a can-do attitude, even when her body says “no can-do.” She recently turned to the Sentara OrthoJoint Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and Sentara Home Care to lessen her pain — and get back to her beloved line dancing.

JoAnn Nelson-HooksShe shares her experience:

“I have suffered pain for several years. One week before I was scheduled for a total right knee replacement, I complained to Dr. Sabloff that my hip had become worse than my knee. He did an X-ray showing bone on bone. He and I agreed to have the hip done.

I have had many surgical procedures, and I can say with certainty that your hospital excels above any other. I was impressed by:

  • The joint replacement class I attended with the very capable and caring Phyllis. By the time it was arranged, I felt as if she and I were old friends!
  • The caring, attentive, empathic and humorous nurses and technicians.
  • The clear, encouraging, and knowledgeable occupational therapy and physical therapy staff for which I am grateful. I had no clue how to proceed without causing possible injury.
  • The hospitalists who took the time to really talk to me about any issues I had.
  • The housekeeping and dietary staff who were so courteous to not disturb me and to ensure convenient placement of items like the tray table and trashcans for me. They were patient, understanding, helpful, and knowledgeable as I attempted to order foods not on my dietary plan.

Why am I telling you all this? Because the excellent care I received at your hospital led me to choose Sentara Home Care Services. I assumed they would offer me the same high quality care, and I was correct. I received nursing care from Philomena Ajumobi and physical therapy care from Natalie Maharaj.

They were exceptional. Philomena communicated her arrival times to me —even on the days we had snow and discussed how I should care for my surgical site, think about my diet and diabetes management and the role they played in my recovery.  She promptly got on the phone to my primary care physician to discuss the recurrent nosebleeds I had. She delivered all of the services with gentleness, patience, care, and humor.

Natalie also provided excellent care. She came out in the snow when she had the day off! She was sensitive to my pain and creative and instructive in providing  alternatives to exercises. She took the time to provide both pre-printed and hand-made drawings and written instructions. She requested that I show her that I understood what needed to be done.

I don’t believe I could have received any better care than that provided by Natalie and Philomena.”

Natalie is somewhat new to Sentara, but not new to physical therapy. She has been licensed since 2005. She enjoys the one-on-one interaction with patients in their homes.

“Home health is all about adaptation to the environment and conditions,” she says. “It is not always convenient or possible to perform more traditional exercises, but with innovative thinking it is possible to get around environmental restrictions or even use them to our advantage. The patient usually likes these types of exercises because they don’t feel like they are exercising, and when the exercise doesn’t feel like work, they are more inclined to participate.”

Nurse Philomena Ajumobi works to fully engage her patients as well. When she meets a new patient, she might spend an hour talking with him or her.

“Patients can be very confused about everything they’re facing,” she says. “I like to look at the whole person. Home care gives you a chance to get to know the person. I try to talk about their health as a whole. I love helping people, especially when I can witness the results because I see the patients often.”

JoAnn looks forward to resuming activities like line dancing. 

In JoAnn’s case, the results will one day soon also be seen on the dance floor:

“I am getting closer and closer to engaging in my beloved activity of line dancing,” says JoAnn, “all because of the help, sensitivity, understanding, knowledge, and excellent care that I received from Sentara. It is with deep appreciation that I thank Natalie Maharaj, Philomena Ajumobi, and all the staff I came in contact with.”


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