By Carol Devenir
LYONS – My grandmother used to say, “What won’t they think of next?” A few months ago, I was extremely glad that “they” had thought of just what I needed, and organized it and brought it right to me: Home Health Care. “They” turned out to be Estes Park Home Health Care. I was so grateful and impressed that I wanted to share the news, in case others, like me, might not know about this program.
After two days in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital, my heart was ready for me to go home. My leg, however, was extremely painful due to a hematoma (pool of blood in muscle tissue), not surprising during a long procedure which involved multiple instruments threaded up through the femoral veins into the heart.
I needed a blood test a day or two after arriving home. The idea was overwhelming. I fantasized that someone would come to my home to draw the blood. Voila! A friend did some searching and found Estes Park Home Health Care. The hospital Discharge Planner contacted them and made arrangements for a nurse to visit me the next day. Wow!
My brain had survived 10 hours of anesthesia, but hadn’t thought about those 14 stairs leading to my front door. That took an agonizing half-hour, with my thoughtful niece helping all the way. I could barely move my leg, and the out-patient pain medicine did not come close to the hospital’s IV drugs.
Enter the first of many Home Health Care nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists. These women were knowledgeable, helpful, and conscientious. They seemed to like their organization, their jobs and their lives. They all seemed like people I’d want for friends. They helped me figure out how to do things that had seemed impossible, and helped me decide which things should not be attempted yet.
They checked my incisions and gave me exercises and suggestions that made a big difference in my ability to get by on my own. They reminded me of ways to conserve energy, and brightened my life with their positive energy. And they came to me!
Each nurse and therapist kept careful records and took care to write down instructions I might otherwise forget. They gave me a calendar for keeping track of appointments, and usually called me a
short time before arriving. They kept track of my drugs and gave me written information about them. I couldn’t imagine a better medical-support program, and I definitely recommend it.
Estes Park Home Health Care is a department of the Estes Park Medical Center. The organization also operates Hospice of the Estes Valley, and Estes Park Home Care, a non-medical program providing personal care, errands and light housekeeping services, to allow patients to stay in their homes.
About 25 employees in the three programs serve all areas of the Park Hospital District, which, in addition to Estes Park, includes Allenspark, Pinewood Springs and Drake. Director Sarah Bosko explained, however, that “We want to make sure all residents of the mountain communities get served. If they can’t get home care from another hospital, we will work with them to make sure they get care, even outside the District boundaries.”
Bosko sees a growing need for home care, for two primary reasons: More people are choosing to stay at home as long as possible, and as costs of nursing home and hospital care rise, home care can be more cost-effective. Her programs are currently serving 80 to 90 patients. “Our goal is to provide the best quality care possible to help people stay in their homes as long as they choose to,” she said.
The agency’s mission and values statement includes, “We value our patients and families, our staff, and our relations in the community. By working collaboratively with our patients, their families, caregivers, and physicians, our programs assist individuals to remain as long as possible in their home environment where they can continue to experience their desired level of involvement with the family, neighborhood and community.”
Home health care services are reimbursable through Medicare, Medicaid, worker’s compensation and many health insurance programs.
The program also coordinates with the non-profit Quota Club Loan Closet, which lends out donated equipment such as crutches, wheelchairs, walkers and canes. I got to borrow a colorful flowered cane, and when I returned it a few months later, I met a man who recognized that cane, as he had used it the previous winter. The small-town joys of community.
To learn more about Estes Park Home Health Care, call 970-586-2273.
Carol Devenir worked for 30 years in City Planning and Public Works. She is Vice President of the Friends of the Lyons Depot Library and the author of Beyond Chemo Brain: Recovering After Surviving. She lives in Lyons.Back to Top