Back on Track and Inspiring Others in Skilled Nursing

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elder man in nursing homeLouis Armstrong is living proof of how one can overcome struggles in life and inspire others.

The Washington, D.C. native served in the Army for four years, two of which he was an active member and the other two he spent in the Reserve. Eventually, Louis completed a food service course in Fort Jackson, SC and went on to work for a prominent catering company.

When he suffered a stroke due to alcoholism, he was admitted to George Washington University Hospital. For Louis, accomplishing everyday needs such as bathing, dressing or eating on his own had become difficult.

“I was completely dependent on my daily activities,” he said.

After about a month, the hospital recommended a nursing home placement in which Louis would have 24-hour assistance.

He and his father were then contacted by a liaison from Bay Ridge Health Care Center, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility located in Annapolis. The two were told everything they needed to know and in January of 2007, Louis made the transition to his temporary home.

According to Louis, the entire staff was highly involved in his care and assisting him with everything necessary.

“I could not move by myself, so they had to turn and reposition me at times to avoid any sores,” he said.

After a few weeks, he was able to start moving his toes and ankles and continued a steady progression until he became completely independent.

“That was when I felt ready to come back to the community and this facility even helped me in that process,” said Louis.

In an effort to help Louis assimilate to life outside of the center, the business office applied for Social Security disability benefits as well as Medical Assistance. In effort to help Mr. Armstrong find a stable home they contacted the coordinating center to find housing for him.

Though he ended his residency in October of 2008, Louis moved into a suburb of Annapolis and now works at the center’s Dietary Department.

“I do believe there is a God and I believe God put me here to save my life,” said Louis. “I feel blessed and appreciate working here since Bay Ridge will always be my family.”

He also participates with an AA group that meets every Wednesday at his former home and works with the National Hospitals and Institutions organization bringing messages of hope to hospitals, jails and other institutions in the area.

Though he remains highly involved with the center, there is no way Louis could forget those who helped him flourish again.

“I highly recommend them to anybody who needs help,” he said.

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