By Elizabeth Beilman
Suffering from renal failure, 80-year-old Gail Boggs and her family chose UC Health’s Bridgeway Pointe assisted living community as her last home.
Bridgeway Pointe is connected to the Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care, so she was easily able to receive the three-times-a-week dialysis treatments at the Daniel Drake Center without having to go outside.
But after 10 treatments, Gail decided to spend her final days without invasive medical care, and instead surrounded herself by the loving nurses at Bridgeway Pointe, whose mission is to care for residents as if they’re family. Staff members called in hospice care to make her remaining weeks comfortable and meaningful.
“With someone that had the labs that she had and with the shape her kidneys were in, we did not expect her to live past three months—and that was optimistic,” said Melanie Milton, LPN.
So it came as a complete surprise when the 80-year-old lived a fulfilling year and three months, even surviving the loss of her son, daughter-in-law and three friends.
As it turned out, the place she chose for the end of her life may have been the reason it lasted longer than anyone ever expected.
“We believe the comprehensive medical, social and emotional support provided by our nurses, along with Gail’s positive attitude, may have prolonged her life,” Bill Wexler, Bridgeway Pointe executive director, said. “Bridgeway Pointe is much more than assisted living—it’s a community where residents can peacefully age in place.
Bridgeway Pointe is a 102-apartment building with three neighborhoods designed for minimal assistance, additional assistance or memory care. Licensed nurses are on site 24 hours a day, with physician services available every week, ensuring residents have access to medical attention at any time.
Bridgeway Pointe offers many amenities, including a courtyard, chapel, library and art room.
“It’s less of a facility feeling and more of a community, where you build those relationships and you bond with people,” Milton said. “A lot of the residents do feel like we are their second family. We don’t see our relationship with residents as a nurse-patient one. It’s much deeper than that.”
As Gail’s primary nurse, Milton saw her several times a day—once every morning to discuss her condition but sometimes for social or emotional needs.
“If it was a nice day and she wanted to go out in the courtyard and she needed someone to push her wheelchair, I would do that,” Milton said.
That’s how all the nurses at Bridgeway Pointe treat every resident.
“It can be hard enough when your life changes as you age,” Milton said. “Why not make life a little simpler by having people around you who care and try to make you feel comfortable, loved and valued?”