Mount Evans Means…Everything

Howard and Ginny Morton have lived in their own “heaven on earth” for the past 30 years in Pine Junction. “This 10 acres, this house, this view,” explains Howard, “When we moved here in 1980, I promised Ginny I’d buy her a mountain.” Ginny recalls with a laugh, “I’ve always wanted to live in the mountains. I’d only visited them once or twice with my parents, but it just involved me the rest of my life. I’ve got to go live in the mountains, so here we are.”

Ginny has dementia and many days she’s not herself, though her love of Howard, their home, and these mountains was evident during our visit. For the past six months, Ginny’s been receiving physical therapy through home health care with Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice and has recently entered our palliative care program.

Julie Billingham, Mount Evans Social Worker, visited with Howard and Ginny and several of their children to introduce palliative care. “We’re working with the family on long-term planning and managing this transitional time in their parents’ lives. We’re also monitoring Ginny’s cognition, coordinating her care with her doctors, and stepping in if her care needs change.”

Howard explains, “Palliative care is trying to make people comfortable in any way they can with whatever they’re suffering.”

“Mount Evans is great, they responded right away. I don’t know where else we would have turned. Emily [Connelly, Mount Evans Physical Therapist] is just great, and she brought in this one,” he gestures at Julie, “who is great. Emily made sure Ginny got exercise every time she came and left us with the diagrams of what she should do, and when she was done, she’d bring in wood, so I didn’t have to lift it.”

Howard’s doctor recently recommended physical therapy for him. Having access to care in their home means “Everything,” says Howard, “when Conifer Medical Center said I needed physical therapy, I said Mount Evans is coming to our home for my wife, how come I can’t do that? And the doctor said, I’ll call them.”

“It means a lot at this stage of life to have those services available in our home,” says Howard. “Absolutely,” agrees Ginny.

As we pack up to leave, Julie places logs in their wood burning stove, and Ginny says to me, “Thank you for being here today. It was good to hear him [Howard] tell all those stories. To be able to remember.”

Her words are a beautiful reminder that what we’re doing is so much more than just healthcare, we’re caring for our neighbors. “It’s a really warm feeling to walk out of there and know you’ve helped improve their quality of life,” reflects Julie.

Whether you’re recovering from an illness or surgery, living with a chronic or progress illness, or ready for end-of-life care, Mount Evans will be here to care for you in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by those you love.

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