Two West Bloomfield nurses have dedicated themselves to providing comfort and care for the elderly in small group homes that offer personalized, round-the-clock attention in a homey environment.
Absolute Care LLC, an adult foster care service consisting of two homes in a safe, inviting West Bloomfield neighborhood, was started in 2015 by Ruth Poberesky, 52, and Ella Maryakhin, 48, both of whom grew up in the former Soviet Union. The two are registered nurses, with critical care, medical/surgical and geriatric experience, along with psychiatric certification, and both have spent their careers working to improve senior citizens’ lives.
“I believe the elderly deserve a good quality of life, with proper care and maximum comfort,” Poberesky said. “And that’s just what our homes offer.”
Poberesky immigrated to Israel and worked as a nurse in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem before moving to the United States. In Michigan, she held nursing positions at Henry Ford Hospital and DMC Sinai before moving to Beaumont Home Care and then opening her Home Health Care Agency in 2005. Maryakhin was a nurse in Germany, working in geriatric care at a nursing home, who came to the Detroit area and was hired by Poberesky as an RN case manager in 2007. Now they are partners.
“While working for 10 years as home care visiting nurses, we saw how clients benefited from a home-like versus institutionalized environment, where there’s a low caregiver-to-client ratio, and less attention might be given to meals and activities,” Poberesky explained. “In our homes, which are smaller and more personalized, we can offer specialized programs, such as having a musician entertain or volunteers assisting with games, arts and crafts, and reading. All of our rooms are private, and the residents can even bring their own furniture to really feel ‘at home.’”
Maryakhin said, “Our medical backgrounds and knowledge also help in monitoring residents’ conditions and preventing complications that might otherwise result in hospitalization.”
In October 2015, they opened their first home for six residents, and then expanded to a second home for six clients on the same street about a year later. The residences each have one around-the-clock caregiver for the six clients and, while keeping their costs as affordable as possible, also offer extra staffers during busy times like meals or for bathing.
Absolute Care is open for all seniors, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and although Poberesky and Maryakhin said they’re not familiar with non-Jewish holiday practices, they are willing to learn. Currently, only one client is not Jewish.
Both women and their families attend Jewish holiday services at The Shul as well as Bais Chabad. They proudly mentioned that Chabad Rabbi Yossi Mishulovin, director of the F.R.E.E. Russian Jewry Center in Southfield, conducts Shabbat and holiday services for them and their residents, who mostly are of Russian background. Some are also Holocaust survivors.
“Our residents appreciate celebrating the Jewish holidays with us and their families and friends,” Maryakhin said. “They enjoy all of our fresh food and family recipes — especially our homemade latkes, matzah ball soup, and bagels and lox.”
Margarita Molchadskaya has been living in one of the homes since last December. Her daughter, Marina Zarkhin of West Bloomfield, said, “My mother had a stroke, and was in rehab in a nursing home, but was very unhappy there. I heard about Absolute Care from a friend whose mother lived there, and I’ve been very pleased with everything. It’s a unique place, and I spend time with my mother at least three or four times a week.”
Another resident is Ruvim Fey, whose son Victor, also of West Bloomfield, comes to visit his father every other day, and said the home has exceeded his expectations.
“My father’s been here for three months and is so much happier here than when he was in a nursing home,” he said. “When the time comes, I would be happy to live here.
“Ella and Ruth and their staff are satisfying a real, tangible need for the Russian community and its growing number of senior citizens.”
Both owners expressed how understanding the need to provide a familiar and comfortable environment for seniors, consistent with what they’ve known throughout their lives, has made for experiences both difficult and rewarding.
“There is fear and worry when one of our residents has to be hospitalized or sorrow when someone we’ve become attached to passes away,” Poberesky said. “But there are many positives — when a resident comes from a nursing home as ‘total care and wheelchair-bound’ and then he takes a few steps with a walker, or a resident shows her room to her relatives, proudly saying, ‘This is my beautiful home.’ This makes our jobs, our lives, worthwhile.”
Judy Greenwald Contributing Writer
For information about Absolute Care, call (248) 622-6760.