Jewish Senior Living magazine   2017/2018


Paul Finigan was happy to be back doing household chores. He had finally healed from a broken leg, having spent a number of months recovering, first in the hospital at UCSF, then in rehab in the Jewish Home’s short-term and rehabilitation services (STARS) unit. He was doing a routine job – moving a garbage can – when he lost his balance and, “the can and I went flying down concrete stairs and I shattered my shoulder,” he ruefully recalls.

Popping in for a visit, ex-STARS patient Paul Finigan shows his physical therapists Christine Lorentzen and Ryan Tsang just how far he has come.

After a 10-hour surgery in which “the doctors put my shoulder and arm back together,” plus some hospital recovery time, Paul, 70, a retired attorney, found himself back on familiar territory – the Home’s STARS unit.

“From day one, they helped me all along the way,” he says. “They worked with me very gradually, helping me regain the range of motion in my arm.”

Anne, Paul’s wife, agrees. “Everyone was wonderful. I was there almost every day and the level of care was consistent.”

The Finigans had first learned about the Jewish Home’s rehab program from Paul’s former law partner Sue Diamond. Paul’s father needed healing from a dislocated hip. “Very fortuitously, Sue is involved with the Jewish Home, and she helped me with Dad’s admission to STARS,” says Paul. “He had a thoroughly excellent experience and we appreciated the chance to have him stay there to recuperate.”

Thus, it was not surprising that Paul and Anne turned to STARS when Paul broke his leg and ankle while on vacation in Gold Country. He arrived at the Home after a month in the hospital, sporting a knee-high non-weight-bearing cast. With the help of staff, he tackled the various things he would need to do and have in place to enable his return to the couple’s San Francisco home.

“Getting in and out of bed, going to the bathroom – all things we take for granted. They taught him to do them without needing me to help,” Anne recounts. Moreover, staff arranged for a visit to the Finigan’s house to ensure it could accommodate Paul’s needs. Anne took pictures of their shower and stairways, and the rehab therapists tried to replicate them.

“The physical therapist and I decided that the best way to deal with the stairs was on my bottom,” Paul chuckles. “By the time I got home, I was pretty self-sufficient.”

Throughout both his rehab stays Anne and Paul were thrilled with the care and help he received. “The nurses, the people who helped me in and out of bed or to bathe, couldn’t have been more compassionate or professional,” Paul says. “Their assistance was remarkable and much appreciated.”

The two were also impressed with the vibrancy of the Home’s activities and its surrounding. Says Anne, “I was happy to be able to wheel Paul outside where he could hear the birds singing and enjoy the fresh air.”

Anne and Paul have included the Jewish Home “on the short list of charities we support.” They have also connected the Home’s fundraising staff with a foundation they believe could be helpful to the organization and its residents. “If we see opportunities for introductions, we’re happy to make them,” the couple state. “The Jewish Home is a wonderful place.” 

Learn more about the Jewish Home’s short-term and rehab center of excellence by contacting STARS admission coordinator at 415.469.2286.

Physical therapy and team work get the thumbs up from Paul and Anne Finigan. Christine Lorentzen and Ryan Tsang could not be more pleased with Paul’s progress.

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