When Fauquier Health Home Care Services celebrated its 25th year of service, Jerry Hoke had particular cause to be proud; he was there on day one. Jerry has been a physical therapist for 29 years. He says, “I can’t imagine doing anything else or working for any other organization.”
Jerry travels each day to the homes of his patients to help rebuild their strength and independence. “Many of my patients have something big in life they can’t do — like walk across the floor, get out of bed or feed the cat. When suddenly they can do that again, there is such happiness on their faces. It’s the most gratifying moment in home care. I remember helping one of my patients out to the barn to see a newborn foal. It was a beautiful moment.”
Some of Jerry’s job involves good, old fashioned problem solving. “The assistance I give is specific to the patient’s home environment. When I come across a home with a spiral staircase or a marble staircase with no railing, that’s something they don’t teach in physical therapy school. I work with the patient to come up with solutions that work for them, in their condition, in their home.”
Jerry teaches family members how to safely care for their loved ones. “Some families need tips on how to do the basics like how to get someone from a bed to a wheelchair or how to help an elderly person use the bathroom. Sometimes the best thing I can do for my patients is to help their caregivers feel confident about taking care of them.”
Hip and knee replacement patients or those who have suffered bone fractures frequent Jerry’s patient list. Others include frail older people with a medical condition. “When they get home from the hospital, they are much weaker. They need rehab to get them stronger and functioning better,” he says.