Marlborough Hills Long-Term Resident Successfully Discharges to Community

Marlborough Hills Long-Term Resident Successfully Discharges to Community

MARLBOROUGH, M.A. — Edithe Mello has been a resident at Marlborough Hills Rehabilitation & Health Care Center for the past six years. Prior to coming to Marlborough Hills, she was living at another skilled nursing center in Massachusetts for nine years. She has only known an institutionalized style of living for nearly 14 years and is ready to move forward in the next chapter of her life.

On Wednesday, Mello was finally able to discharge from Marlborough Hills and moved into a residential care home in Waltham, Massachusetts with the help of the state program Money Follows the Person.

“I’m so excited and this feels so good. I will get my freedom back again. I’m back in the community and back living in my own apartment,” she said.

Marlborough Hills resident Edithe Mello saying goodbyes on the day of her discharge.

Mello, with a series of setbacks and battling mental health in the mid-2000s, was originally placed in a nursing home for care and medication management. She said it took time to get the appropriate help she needed.

“To me, it depends on who is helping you,” she said. “What kind of doctors you have, what kind of nurses you have and what they do for you.”

She explains prior to entering into skilled nursing facilities she felt her needs weren’t met and was struggling to get the right help. When she entered the first nursing home, she felt this was finally the right step in a positive direction. By the time she came to Marlborough Hills, she was impressed with the level of care provided to her at the center.

“All my nurses and C.N.A.’s they are all fabulous,” Mello said. “The staff all have been helpful.”

Another staff member Mello “clicked” right away is Resident Ambassador Abigail Goncalves.

Goncalves was with Mello the morning of her discharge home, braiding her hair like she normally does. Mello joked and said, “She is coming with me as my hairdresser.”

Throughout the day of discharge, Goncalves kept coming back to check in on Mello to see how she was doing. Mello had many goodbyes to say to the staff and fellow residents and was often tearful. She also served as Resident Council President since she came to Marlborough Hills and has made lasting impressions on many of the residents at the center.

Mello said she is so thankful for what the staff at Marlborough Hills and the Massachusetts State Department of Social Services caseworkers have done to help her to this point and get her back to living in the community independently. Mello shared that it takes time to go through the processes with Money Follows the Person but knew one day it would happen.

Edithe Mello with Resident Ambassador Abigail Goncalves

“I never gave up and I never will,” Mello said. “Every night, I would pray and hope and now I have my own key to my apartment and my own key to my mailbox. I’m a survivor.”

Lynn Wilson, Director of Social Services at Marlborough Hills, said she is thankful to be part of the team in making Mello’s dream a reality.

“At times it was hard and we would continue to encourage her that this was going to happen, and it did and it’s just amazing to see such a success. Money Follows the Person is really designed to help people like Edie, and they will set her up to be successful,” Wilson said.

Miatta Edi-Osagie, Administrator at Marlborough Hills, said about Mello, “I love her. She is such a joy and will be missed by staff and residents.”

Edi-Osagie credits the whole team in their efforts of working towards this discharge including the Department of Social Services and the program Money Follows the Person.

“Without the whole team, we wouldn’t be able to execute this for Edie. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about: to ensure the placement is successful. She can have meaning and have purpose once again outside of the four walls. We’re so happy for her,” Edi-Osagie said.

Mello looks forward to starting this new chapter in her life and is grateful to be part of the Money Follows the Person program and the opportunities it can provide, including helping her obtain a job. She is grateful to the staff at the center. Now, she is ready to finally enjoy her freedom, spend time with her family and her five grandchildren, and celebrate her 63rd birthday in June.

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February 22, 2023 A Healthier Approach To Caring