Jack and Kevin
“I woke up in the hospital,” Jack says. “I don’t even remember what happened, but Kevin was there. It was the start of another life.”
“Before meeting Jack, I didn’t know what to expect,” Kevin says. “The social worker at the hospital told me he doesn’t warm up easily to new people. But that wasn’t my experience. I just had to approach Jack the right way. That’s how it is with most people.”
Kevin brought his sketchbook when he went to meet Jack at the hospital. “I showed him some sketches and pictures I was working on,” Kevin remembers. “We hit it off instantly. We started talking, artist to artist. It was very natural. Hospitals are never easy for people. Being there for Jack felt good.”
“I never thought I’d get out of the hospital,” Jack says. “I remember I kept telling Kevin that, and he kept telling me he thought I would. Sometimes that’s what you need to hear from someone.”
At the hospital, Jack and Kevin would watch Jack’s favorite Turner Classic movies together. “Sometimes people need a distraction,” Kevin says. “Jack would tell me all the backstories of the actors and actresses in the movies. Neither of us like hospitals, but we managed to have a good time together. Or at least we made it tolerable.”
After two months in the hospital, Jack’s doctors said he could return home, though he would need full-time care. “I wanted to get home as soon as possible,” Jack says. “I missed my life. Kevin and others at Renewal helped make this happen.”
Jack’s medical team told him his apartment would need to be more accessible to reduce the chances of Jack’s falling again. So Jack’s Care Manager at Renewal arranged for a home safety specialist to do an assessment and bring in a contractor.
Jack also needed to continue physical therapy after returning home. His Care Manager introduced Jack to a physical therapist who helped Jack with his exercises in his apartment.
“The physical therapist taught me how to do exercises with Jack, so I could do these with him every day,” Kevin recalls. “We also helped Jack adjust to using a walker. Jack could do these things himself. Mostly, he needed reminders and encouragement.”
Though Jack was glad to be home, he no longer wanted to paint. “I was overwhelmed, and couldn’t keep my hands steady,” Jack says. “I couldn’t paint like I’d always painted, so I didn’t want to paint at all.”
Intuitively, Kevin knew that finding a way to get Jack painting again was important. “He’s always been a painter,” Kevin says. “It’s who he is and how he relates to the world.”