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Palo Alto County Hospital offers a wide range of services to the community. Home Health Services and Hospice are just two of those services and November has been designated the month to remind people of those services available and to recognize the staff who make the services possible. Home Health Services department is there to provide a cost-effective and easily understood transition from a hospital or nursing home to independent living. The team also is there to provide assistance to the community with education, prevention and health services in a world where health care constantly changes. Betty Johnson of Curlew has been a client of Home Health Services for a number of years. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Home Health, they are very helpful with everything,” stated Betty. “I’d have to go to a nursing home if it were not for the staff who come here and help me.” Feeling very fortunate for all they do, Betty visited about how they help with groceries or other shopping needs, light housekeeping and how a nurse visits her to help with any medical concerns and following up on any medical appointments. Living in a small community like Curlew, Betty is also thankful for her neighbors and friends who also help her out. Always keeping an eye on Betty, they know when she gets up and make sure she is all right. Being homebound and unable to see well, they also provide her with transportation to appointments. As stated by Candy Bisenius, a nurse with Home Health since 2003, “the Home Health Services provides the clients the ability to stay at home and remain independent.” Nicole Christensen has been a Home Health Aide for about two years. Nicole feels that it is a “wonderful asset for people to stay in their home and for those not ready to go to assisted living or to a nursing home.” Patient education, therapy services, home visits and Medicare certified in-home nursing care is available through Home Care Services. Anyone who sees a health need in the community is able to refer a person to the services. PACH Hospice services are also available and has been there for the community to allow clients to concentrate on how they live. According to Ron Hampson of Graettinger, the services aren’t just for the client but also for the spouse. It also doesn’t put a strain on the bank account. A team approach is used with a comprehensive plan for care of those patients who can no longer benefit from curative treatment and has a life expectancy of six months or less. June Hampson said that “it’s a good thing as it keeps me aware of the medications, and make suggestions for things that make life better for Ron, things I wouldn’t think of. Some things work and sometimes they don’t just depends on what it is.” Karen Kauffman is a Hospice nurse and said that one goal is to “try to keep the client at home with things that makes it easier to stay where they would like to be. Social workers and Home Care aides will come in as needed as each client’s needs are all different. A good thing for all community members is to get those well checks in order to stay healthy and get the care needed.” As far as if the services are for you, Ron and June said that the “girls themselves are wonderful, make you feel special and that we always look forward to them coming out to check on us.” Hospice care can be provided in any comfortable surrounding. As Karen said, the services are there to “make each day better.” Backing her up, Ron said that there “are a lot of updates that are helpful. They have a certain responsibility in learning that benefits us.”


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