FAIRBURY – Jefferson Family Home Care – the home health agency of Jefferson Community Health Center – has a lot to celebrate in November: November is home health month; the agency celebrates 30 years of service to the community this year; and they have recently been named to the nation’s and the state’s HomeCare Elite.
Home health patients and their families are grateful that the caring staff of Jefferson Family Home Care have been there to support them in so many ways.
Cheryl Pearson of Jansen credits Jefferson Family Home Care with keeping her out of the hospital for more than a year – a record for her.
“Thanks to home health that has kept me out of the hospital for over a year now,” Pearson said. “I wouldn’t be able to stay here at home if it wasn’t for them. I adore them. They make life so much simpler.”
Home care is designed to provide services for the homebound person who needs the skilled services of a nurse or therapist. Home health is patient-centered, and goals might include recovery from an illness, healing of wounds, getting a patient back on their feet and moving again, keeping them out of the hospital, or assistance with certain procedures or treatments.
David and Linda Raney were pleased with the care their daughter Dana received from Jefferson Family Home Care. Dana, 26, passed away in April after a battle with ALS.
The Raneys said the expertise and health care knowledge of the home health staff were of great help as they cared for Dana at home. Even more importantly, they appreciated that the staff truly cared for Dana as a whole person.
“They were personal with Dana,” said her dad, David. “They didn’t just come in and do their job. They talked to Dana.”
“They didn’t really focus on her disease,” said her mom, Linda.
The staff was also tremendous in providing their training and expertise, knowing what to do, and helping to keep a close watch on Dana’s condition. If Dana had questions or concerns staff members made sure they were answered, and they answered any questions her parents had, as well.
They said Dana had a special bond with Jason Trimm RN, and really appreciated the interest he took in her.
“He touched her some way. She was close to him,” Linda said.
Linda McMurphy said she has utilized virtually every service home health can offer as she recovers from a car accident in 2009.
“I just feel blessed. If it wasn’t for all the help I get through home health, I don’t know where I’d be,” McMurphy said. “I’m grateful that help can come to me.”
McMurphy said that home health has discovered issues with her health and helped her to seek appropriate treatment before she needed hospitalization.
“If it wouldn’t have been for them I don’t know what would have happened,” McMurphy said.
Another grateful family member is Shirley Forney. Home health cared for her husband Ray from February until he passed away in June. She knows that without home health the course of Ray’s care would have been much different.
“I am positive he’d have been in a nursing home without home health,” Forney said.
She praised the entire Fairbury medical community – home health, Dr. Blatny, therapy staff, and hospital staff – for the wonderful care and services they provide to the community. She described local providers as “loving and supportive and knowledgable.”
She said having home health visits for Ray gave her the assurance that he was receiving the care that he needed. She said the staff members were very thorough, and alerted them to issues when Ray might need more care for something. Without home health, Forney believes she might have had to give up teaching piano lessons, a long-time career.
“I’d definitely recommend it (home health care.) I’ve recommended it already,” Forney said. “You need to take advantage of what we have here in Fairbury.”
Home health services began at Jefferson Community Health Center (then Jefferson County Memorial Hospital) in February 1984. The service has expanded in 30 years, and now includes a director who is also a nurse, two full-time nurses, a full-time aide and two part-time aides.
At the end of October the agency was notified it was named among the elite agencies nationwide and statewide by HomeCare Elite. The agency was among the top 25 percent of Medicare certified agencies in the nation, and among the top 6 in the state. The recognition is based on quality outcomes, best practice, patient experience, quality improvement and consistency and financial performance.
“We are so proud of our agency’s recognition,” said Lori Ohlde RN, home health director. “We are most pleased at the satisfaction of our patients and our families, and that we are able to help get well and stay healthy.”
The home health staff is committed to continuing the quality of care and the caring services that Jefferson Family Home Care offers, and caring for each patient’s individualized needs.
In order to receive home health care, a patient must have a physician’s order. Home health may be paid through Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance, or by the patient. Specific guidelines must be met for services to quality for Medicare, Medicaid and insurance reimbursement.
For more information on home health services, contact Jefferson Family Home Care at (402) 729-6857.
Jason Trimm RN listens to Linda McMurphy’s heart.
Shirley Forney is grateful for the assistance home health gave to her husband, Ray.More