Home Health Care may be an option for your loved one

Michelle Boelke, RN

Richland County Home Health has been providing care to residents of Richland County for 54 years. Home Health Care is often the link between family and their loved ones health, coordinating care with the patient’s health care providers, pharmacy, and other resources in the community. Traditionally, we were the eyes and ears for families who live out of town and take comfort knowing that someone is looking in on their loved one. We have now become the eyes and ears for even the families living close by.

COVID-19 has changed so many things for our elderly. The very people who have lived through wars and many difficult times sacrificing their own comforts for the good of their family or community are now, in my opinion, the people being affected the most by this virus. For the elderly, the few social outlets they had have been greatly reduced. Coffee with friends is not occurring at their favorite restaurant uptown (a choice they are making to keep themselves safe), other traditional gathering places are closed. They make trips to the grocery store on a very limited basis. Families are picking up groceries for them but as I have been told, “sometimes you just have to get a few things yourself”. Families are limiting their visits and many grandchildren have not been seen in almost 8 months now. The elderly think twice before going to a clinic appointment and some are scared that if they allow people in their home to help them, the virus may be brought to them.

All of us in home care have changed our practices to ensure we are doing the best we can to not put our patients at risk. Additional sanitizing practices of our equipment have been implemented. Wearing personal protective equipment that protect both the patient and us are being worn. During a visit we keep in mind the space between us and a patient allowing social distancing whenever possible.

As we continue through the next several months, if you, your neighbor, or loved one may need some additional assistance at home to lessen their trips to the clinic or help keep them healthy and safe at home, we encourage you to make a phone call to our office to set up an evaluation visit. Richland County Home Health can make an evaluation visit to your home at no charge to discuss options available to keep you or a family member living in their own home. Our phone number is 701-642-7735.

Michelle Boelke is a registered nurse with Richland County Home Health.

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