Clients presented with handmade quilts.

    There’s no place like home. You hear everyone say it, but for approximately 1,500 people receiving services through RiverView Health’s Home Care Department in the past 10 years that phrase is more than a saying. It’s a reality they have gotten to live because RiverView Home Care  has been there to help them with needs that otherwise might have forced them to leave the comforts of home.

    RiverView Health is joining with the National Association for Home Care in celebrating National Home Care Month in November. RiverView Home Care is a community home care agency providing 24-hour access to on-call nurses, services on weekends and holidays, and a full range of therapy services.

    Home care provides care in the patient’s home and in familiar surroundings, which has a positive and therapeutic effect, studies show. Home care also promotes independence and dignity. And home care is credited with providing better care management, preventing needless and costly hospitalizations and/or premature nursing-home admissions.

    Today, millions of Americans of all ages and abilities depend on home care services to remain healthy, stable, and out of costly traditional settings. For decades, caring for the elderly, disabled and chronically ill at home has provided a dignified and high-efficient method of treatment. Home-based care is also clinically effective, utilizing advanced technologies and helping to cost-effectively manage chronic diseases that account for 75 percent of our nation’s health care spending.

For all ages
    But while many think of home care services as just for the elderly, that is not the case, according to Jackie Salvhus, director of RiverView’s Home Care. Home care is an integral piece along the continuum of care for individuals of every age and stage of life.

    “We have had several infants and toddlers on services,’’ Salvhus reported. “We can assist with caregiver education for childhood conditions, help with feeding issues, failure to thrive, and also provide therapy in the home, if applicable.’’

    The RiverView Health Home Care staff has been there to help those in need from birth all the way through life to the team’s oldest client at age 100.

    There are a variety of reasons why someone may need home care. Possibilities may include recent hospitalization, surgery, or an acute or chronic condition that qualifies them to have care at home for a short time during recovery. The services needed may include nursing to assist with assessments, pain management, communication with physicians, blood draws, physical, occupational and speech therapy, and assistance with personal care from a home health aide.

Goal of independence
    But no matter what the cause or need for services may be, the main goal is always the same.

    “Our goal is to assist the client back to their prior level of function and keep them at home as long as possible,’’ said Salvhus.

    RiverView Home Care covers a 30-mile radius around its base in Crookston. RiverView’s Home Care team currently consists of 33 staff members, including clinical coordinators, an assisted living coordinator, registered nurse case managers, a scheduler, secretarial employees, home health aides, licensed practical nurses, and assisted living aides.

    The latest data from the Department of Labor shows that because home care has boomed as America ages and the baby boomers begin entering their golden years, registered nurses, home health aides, and personal care aides are among the top five occupations projected to see the largest increase in jobs by 2020 as more people need their services more than ever before.

    For more information on RiverView Health’s Medicare and Medicaid-certified Home Care services and eligibility, call 281-9478.