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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Home Care - 'Caring is what we do best'

Monday, November 19, 2012

Registered nurse Jackie Regennitter working with client Arturo Castro. /Photo submitted
November has been Home Care Month and the Buena Vista County Health Dept. celebrates all of their dedicated aides and nurses who are helping many remain in their homes and helping many others as they recuperate at home from surgeries.

"Caring is what we do best," is the motto they live by at BV County Public Health and Home Care.

There are many reasons to choose home care.

Services are provided in accordance from client's own doctors.

The care is provided by registered nurses and/or licensed therapists; aides must complete 12 hours of inservice education each year on such topics as CPR, elderly safety, physical therapy and even learning how to properly lift a client.

The home care advocates health promotion and disease prevention through teaching and education. The aides and nurses are always available to share with the clients community services that may be of assistance to them such as lining up therapy, connecting them with the Meals on Wheels program and even making them aware of the taxi service.

"Our care includes a variety of services to help people be where they want to be...at home," their literature states.

An assessment is always done first to determine what care is going to benefit the clients; some of the clients are short-term while others remain in the program for many years.

There are four aides and four registered nurses with the department. All are dedicated and special; two of them are being featured.

Ruth Wogahn, a registered nurse who had been retired for 20 years, began working as a home care aide for 16 years.

"I really like taking care of people," she said.

As a home care aide, her job is to provide personal care, bathing, grooming, hair care, grocery shopping, light housekeeping and laundry services as well as other doctor ordered services.

Depending on the services provided, she could spend up to three hours with a client.

Jackie Regennitter, a registered nurse, has been with the department for five years. She is able to monitor medication, give injections, change dressings, do blood draws and care for wounds. She and the other nurses provide health assessments including taking vital signs and provide education on disease prevention and control, for example, teaching them about diets.

Ruth and Jackie both said their favorite part of their jobs is the clients; many friendships are formed, especially with the long-term clients.

With family members living elsewhere and not able to check on loved ones or those families that are too busy to help out, the home care program is an ideal situation.

Fern Marron has been a client for quite some time and enjoys the visits from the aides and nurses.

"I wouldn't be able to stay in my home without them," she said. "They make my life a lot easier." And of her aide and friend Ruth, she said, "She is a special person."

To learn more about the home care program at BV County Public Health, call 749-2548.

Care can be provided to all residents within the county.