LIFE Profile Spotlight Story: Bob L.
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Meet Bob L.

This is his story...

Bob has a big smile on his face during his daily exercise routine, including 15 minutes on his stationary bike. He is surrounded by artwork—his own paintings of family, friends, and religious scenes. His devoted caregiver, Susan, stands close by to ensure Bob is safe on his bike. Bob chats with Susan, sharing stories from his life, not even out of breath as he pedals and talks. When he finishes, Susan helps him off the bike. At Bob’s insistence, Susan hops onto the bike herself. “She needs to exercise to stay healthy too!” Bob exclaims.

Bob appearing in an ad in the Knoxville News Sentinel

Bob is a 97-year-old Navy veteran who lives in the Knoxville, TN area. After serving in World War II aboard a patrol gunship, Bob returned to his hometown and sold advertising at the Knoxville News Sentinel. He was known for his creative ad campaigns, often starring in the ads himself when he couldn’t find a willing model. He retired from the paper in 1990.

Bob began services with Senior Helpers after a fall that led to a broken hip. He stayed with his son while recovering but was determined to return to his own home once he gained more strength. During his first LIFE Profile assessment, Bob was in a lot of pain. He was also distraught about being away from home and losing his independence. As part of this initial assessment, Senior Helpers evaluated 144 environmental, task, and personal Safety Risks in Bob’s home and identified several areas of concern. These risks were quickly addressed to prevent another fall or unsafe occurrence and improve his overall wellbeing.

With the help of a Senior Helpers’ caregiver, Susan, Bob was able to move back into his home and began to recover, physically and mentally. Susan took over many of the household duties, including light housekeeping, making meals, grocery shopping, and taking out the trash. But the best thing she could do for Bob was to listen.

Because of the results of the LIFE Profile assessment, Susan knew that Bob’s Quality of Life was in decline. His wife had recently passed, and the memories of her, the war, and his lack of independence were upsetting to him. A naturally outgoing person, Bob was missing social interaction. With Susan now visiting every weekday, Bob was able to engage with someone who really listened to him while he healed from his injuries. Susan heard many times about how Bob’s life was saved in the war from a scrap of metal left over from the Pearl Harbor bombing. This story was featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel on December 2, 2018, and is now available to read on 

Now, as Susan’s visits continue and Bob’s health improves, he is able to start moving around the house more. With Susan’s supervision, he is often able get outside and work on his garden. As they tend to the okra and tomato plants, Bob tells stories from his days in advertising, and how he often had to star in his own ad campaigns for lack of a model who would go along with his out-of-the-box ideas. His creativity extends to art, woodworking, and more. He has made lamps out of fire extinguishers, makes stained glass, and paints extensively. His religious works have been featured in the art gallery at Crown College in Knoxville, TN.

When asked about his extensive creative abilities, Bob says, “God gives you talents to use and I got a basket full.”

When asked about his extensive creative abilities, Bob says, “God gives you talents to use and I got a basket full.”

When asked about his extensive creative abilities, Bob says, “God gives you talents to use and I got a basket full.”

Now that Bob has recovered from his hip injury, he and Susan are able to get out of the house regularly to run errands and make social calls. One of Bob’s favorite trips is to Houston’s Miracle Well, a local attraction that some claim has water blessed by God with healing powers. It is a common gathering place for veterans, and Bob loves to socialize and swap stories. They visit once a week and Susan helps Bob bottle the water and take it home to enjoy.

Senior Helpers Director of Operations, Beth Ford, stopped by recently to check in with Bob. Because of her LIFE Profile training, Beth was aware that the research supporting LIFE Profile has shown that Medical Conditional Management is the number one reason seniors have unsafe occurrences leading to hospitalization. Bob’s score had been sitting at 4 out of 7, but Beth knew that there were opportunities to increase the score and reduce his risk of hospitalization. Beth reminded Bob to have a discussion with his doctor about strategies to better manage his health. After visiting with his physician and implementing these strategies, Bob’s Medical Condition Management score improved to 7 out of 7, further reducing his risk of hospitalization in the next six months.

In all other assessment areas, Beth found Bob to be stable, happy, active in and out of his home. They discussed how he enjoys working on his art and spending time in his garden. His favorite topic, however, is his caregiver, Susan. He loves running errands with her, doing chores together, and being able to get back to his favorite activities, all while still being safe in his own home. In contrast to when Beth first met Bob, he now sits around telling jokes and is able to talk about his wife and war experience without becoming upset. Bob says of the past two years as a Senior Helpers client, “I always look forward to Susan coming. She has changed my life for sure.”

Susan greatly enjoys her time with her client, Bob. “It’s good for me to be here with Bob. I need the interaction too. I love to hear his stories and his history.”