It was Nov. 6, 1992, when Memphis Jewish Home & Rehab (MJHR) sent home its first resident after a stay on what was then called the Restorative Care Unit. Up until then, seniors only came to MJHR to live permanently. Bertha Diamond was celebrated with a “Bon Voyage” party. According to The Home Edition, Bertha was quoted as saying, “I know that coming here made it possible for me to go back home and be able to take care of myself.”
Bertha came to the Home 42 days earlier on a stretcher from the hospital after a spinal fracture. She worked with the physical and occupational therapists to get stronger every day. She was walking with a cane by the time she went back to her home.
Bertha’s story was unusual for the early 1990s. The Home was not doing much in the way of rehabilitation then. But as the demand for this type of treatment increased, MJHR was able to enhance this service to meet the needs of the community. The first rehab gym was located on the second floor, but by 2008 that space was just too small, and the rehab facilities moved downstairs into two larger spaces at the north end of the building.
Fast forward to 2017. MJHR now looks forward to an even larger space for rehab with an addition to its building. (More details about that addition will be coming soon.) Because many more seniors are in need of a place to get the therapies required to get stronger after an illness, injury, or surgery, MJHR is committed to adapting to their needs.
Stories of rehab graduates continue. There’s Rob Tucker, a mechanical engineer, who was in agonizing pain and unable to walk when he came to MJHR. And John Wheeler, who was determined to escort his daughter down the aisle at her wedding even after he had a devastating stroke just weeks before the big day. And Nathan Goto who came to MJHR after an injury left him partially paralyzed, unable to walk or eat on his own. Watch their success stories on YouTube by scanning the codes below or going to www.youtube.com/user/MemphisJewishHome.
There are thousands more stories just like these from both the Jewish and broader Memphis communities. Just like the faith-based community hospitals, MJHR serves people of all faiths. But it is the facility’s commitment to providing the Jewish environment including celebration of all Jewish holidays and keeping strictly kosher, that ties the facility to its rich history and those who wanted to fulfill the needs of Jewish seniors back in 1927 when the Home was founded.
MJHR still provides the long-term care with which the community is familiar. But through the rehab services, it is able to serve so many more Jewish and non-Jewish people, and in turn, their families, helping them to get back home. Whether their stay is for a week, three months, or 10 years, patients, residents and their families can rest assured that the Home will provide the care they need in a facility that the Jewish community can be proud of supporting.