Bringing Back the Sunshine
Nurse Joanne Freeborn helps patients adopt healthy routines
by Julia Browning, EBella Magazine, July, 2020
“I feel like my job, my place in life, is to help people,” she says.
Freeborn is the clinical nurse manager for GlenCare Home Agency, a nursing care service offered to residents of the senior living community, The Glenview at Pelican Bay.
Compassion, integrity, honesty and positivity are all words used by colleagues to describe Freeborn’s disposition. Ever humble and gracious, Freeborn meets the praise with a hint of bashfulness. Going above and beyond for her patients is simply her nature.
Freeborn’s nursing superpower lies in her listening. When meeting with patients, she is sure to ask how they’re coping and intuitively determines where their struggles lie. She believes there is always a way to help, if only you’re willing to listen.
“We’re all in it together. We truly are,” she says. “It’s a lot of head shaking and asking, ‘How are we going to get through this?’ And we are getting through this. We just need to be creative and think outside the box.”
For many, their main struggle is being isolated from family. Though guests aren’t currently allowed to visit The Glenview, Freeborn helps her patients connect to family remotely, encouraging FaceTime and frequently photographing the seniors with whom she meets, sending updates to their loved ones.
Having a community at The Glenview that feels like a second family also does much to mitigate loneliness, she says.
Freeborn recalls the early days of the pandemic, when fear and denial were prevalent. Now, she reports, those emotions have waned and are replaced by acceptance and strength.
“These people have been through the Depression,” Freeborn says. “They are strong people. They’re survivors. We all had that fear of the unknown in the beginning. The whole world did. We didn’t know what was going on. Now, we have a routine again.”
“The sunshine is coming back out,” she says