For Father Bob Osborne, independence is key to happiness at Nazareth Home

Ninety-four-year-old Father Bob Osborne, who retired from parish ministry in 1998 after serving 44 years, first came to Nazareth Home in 2014 to begin therapy in our Recovery to Home program. It was a fall down the stairs on a Caribbean cruise that eventually landed him here for recovery after first spending four days in the hospital on the island of St. Thomas. He also required a new pacemaker at that time.

Father Bob found himself back at Nazareth Home again in the fall of 2021 while battling an infection that resulted from his pacemaker battery being replaced. While our Recovery to Home program was all too familiar to him, and he was battling severe side effects from the antibiotics, he was eager to return home. His Nazareth Home care team was concerned he might not be able to fully care for himself at home and could benefit from a higher level of care. With some hesitancy, Father Bob decided to enter our Personal Care program in Nov. 2021.

“When I get sick, there are dependable people here to take care of me,“ said Father Bob. “The nursing team is so nice and very patient with me each day.”

While Father Bob had enjoyed great experiences at Nazareth Home, his primary concern about creating his new home here was having to give up his independence and the daily routine that keeps him going. But, his support team at Nazareth Home jumped right in to ensure he could remain independent and continue doing the things that keep him thriving.

Father Bob’s book club now meets at Nazareth Home; his friends gladly come to him. He keeps a car on site so he can continue meeting with his support group of priests, who share a meal around town together once a month. The computer in his room has also enabled him to join his Friday night Zoom meeting, a group of priests who enjoy a happy hour of sorts together, but remotely.

Most recently, Father Bob plays the card game bridge with a newly formed group of Nazareth Home residents who live down the hall. They enjoy each other’s company every Wednesday but don’t take themselves too seriously as they are challenged to figure out who’s really winning among them.

“Father Bob really feared a loss of independence, community and connection by leaving his home, but being at Nazareth Home has done wonders for him,” said Julie Kane, Activities Director for Nazareth Home’s Personal Care program.

Father Bob’s ministry also continues at Nazareth Home. Mass is held in the Chapel six days a week for residents, and he presides over Mass every Tuesday. He also assists on an as-needed basis to administer the Anointing of the Sick for Nazareth Home residents.

When asked what the best part about being at Nazareth Home is, Father Bob says it’s “the care he gets because there’s always somebody there for him.” He likes the consistency in his daily schedule and says it takes away his worries about being able to stay independent and active.

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