Home Health care is vital to our community

Sharon Timmerman, RN with Northwest Colorado Health Home Health & Hospice, provides medical care to Audrey Enever to help her recover from a recent stroke in the comfort of home.

According to Audrey Enever, illness or injury can happen to anyone, but you never expect it to happen to you. For Audrey, she never could have predicted she would have a stroke.

Audrey already had a long relationship with Northwest Colorado Health, working with physical therapists after two hip surgeries and receiving routine foot care. So after spending six weeks in the hospital and time at the Doak Walker Rehab Center at Casey’s Pond following her stroke this summer, she wanted to go home. Northwest Colorado Health’s Home Health program allowed her to receive the care she needed in the comfort of her own home.

“I am not allowed to be alone right now, even overnight, because I am completely helpless to do even the most basic tasks like bathing,” said Enever. “I could only come home because Northwest Colorado Health’s Home Health program provides on call care 24 hours a day. Being home lets me heal in a comfortable place.”

Home Health is an important resource in our rural landscape. The size of our communities, distance from medical resources and limited transportation can all play a role in accessing health care. From skilled nursing and therapy to wound care and medication management, patients can receive a wide variety of treatments at home allowing individuals to recover from illness or injury, as well as support residents aging in place.

Audrey has shown incredible resilience, and she’s looking forward to accomplishing her next goal: regaining her ability to walk.

“I am so grateful that the medical staff have stayed through the COVID-19 pandemic so I was able to have the care I needed,” said Enever. “I don’t know what I would do without them.”

Throughout the pandemic, Northwest Colorado Health has continued to provide high quality, compassionate and personalized care through its Home Services program.

“Patients have peace of mind knowing that they can receive the care they need in their own homes, lowering their risk of virus transmission in the community, and reducing the burden on local healthcare facilities,” said Brittany Ahlgrim, RN, Director of Home Services for Northwest Colorado Health. “The benefits of Home Health and Hospice are great in normal times, but even more so in a pandemic when many of our patients are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. Being able to receive care in-home is vital, and our team never stopped caring for our neighbors, providing much needed support and comfort.”

While many people only think of Home Health care for older adults, it is a vital resource for community members of all ages. Accidents, injury or debilitating illness that may affect your mobility are all common reasons that someone of any age may need Home Health care. This includes post-surgical conditions like a hip or knee replacement, or other orthopedic surgery. If you have a surgery scheduled that will make leaving your home difficult, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about working with a Home Health physical or occupational therapist to help recover functional mobility.

Home Health is available through a physician’s referral, and is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private pay insurance. If you are considering Home Health for you or a loved one, Northwest Colorado Health will work with your medical provider. Non-medical needs for older adults or those who are homebound can also be addressed through Home Health. This may include assistance with bathing, grocery shopping, housekeeping and more; offering a good respite option for family members who are caring for disabled, sick or elderly loved ones.

To learn more about Home Services available at Northwest Colorado Health, visit northwestcoloradohealth.org or call 970-871-7629.

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