How Prospero Health is Making People Feel Safe at Home
Raymond Gibbard, a gentleman in his 80s, came under the care of Prospero Health in the spring of last year. As Raymond tells it, he was sitting at home one day when he received an unexpected call from a Prospero provider.
“All of a sudden, I had Antoinette and Gifty calling me,” he recalled. “I thought, ‘Where’d these people come from?’”
In fact, by the time Raymond heard from Antoinette McMillan, a social worker, he was already enrolled in Prospero’s home-based care program. Antoinette reached out because Raymond was accustomed to calling 911 whenever he felt concerned about his health, and Antoinette wanted to learn how her team could better support him at home.
“Prior to us coming in, Raymond used the emergency room pretty much every other day,” Antoinette explained. “And he has a lot of anxiety. So, he would feel something and his anxiety would go through the roof and it was easiest to call 911 and go to the hospital.”
When Gifty Bawre, a nurse practitioner, reviewed Raymond’s medical charts, she began to suspect that his extensive medication regimen was contributing to all the symptoms he was experiencing.
“I saw he was on so many medications and realized the same meds that were supposed to help him were giving the side effects that [made him call 911],” Gifty said. “I called his doctors and his pharmacy and clarified which meds he actually needed to take.”
Together, Gifty and Antoinette gained Raymond’s trust and convinced him to call them instead of calling 911. Raymond now speaks to one of them on a near-daily basis.
“Both of us plugged our numbers into his phone and said, ‘Call us,’” Antoinette said. “He is definitely calling us now [laughter]. That’s the beauty of this program—we’re available to folks 24/7.”
Raymond added, “I don’t like feeling bad. I don’t think anybody does. And, unfortunately, I’m at the age where my health’s not good and I got a lot of things going against me. It means a lot to have somebody I can actually talk to and I know she’s knowledgeable.”
As Raymond’s bond with his Prospero care team grew stronger, he began to open up about his personal life, including his divorce and his strained relationship with his daughter, “Stephanie.” With Raymond’s blessing, Antoinette tracked Stephanie down and helped the two of them reconnect.
It had been nearly a decade since Stephanie and Raymond had last seen each other. Through some Internet sleuthing, Antoinette found Stephanie’s phone number and called her to ask if she would be interested in speaking to Raymond. Stephanie jumped at the opportunity.
“Your only daughter, when you’re not talking to her, it’s a strange thing,” Raymond said. “Something has to give eventually. So, I’m sitting here, and the phone rings, and it was Stephanie. I hadn’t talked to her in eight years. I had no idea where she was. But we get along great now.”
Just a few weeks after that phone call, Stephanie and her husband traveled from their home in Georgia to visit Raymond in Charlotte, North Carolina. The house Raymond lives in was once owned by his parents, Stephanie’s grandparents. It was a safe haven for Stephanie when she was a young girl while her parents’ marriage was falling apart. Raymond offered to leave Stephanie the house in his will, and she accepted. He views the gesture as one way to atone for his missteps as a father: “I wasn’t there for a lot of things when she was younger. I guess I’m trying to make up for that. That’s a hard thing to say in a way. It’s all I got now.”
Given his health concerns, Raymond has mostly been laying low since the pandemic started. While he has adjusted to the new reality, he is looking forward to enjoying more independence when things get back to normal.
“It’d be nice to get out and do things on my own,” Raymond said. “If I could get out and drive and get around, I’d go to the doctor, go to the store. That’d be about it.”