Area Couple Counts on Home Health; New Office Opens in Lucas.

Bill Berger realizes he can “get into a lot of trouble real fast,” which is why he appreciates Lincoln Park Home Health services.

The Lucas man suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and has relied on home-health care for about a year. Lincoln Park works in collaboration with SunPorch of Smith County to provide these services.

Its new office is located at 226 S. Main in Lucas.

“I have real difficulty breathing,” Berger said. “But they monitor it very closely. My doctor and the home-health nurses stay in contact with me and with one another all the time.”

Berger’s wife, Celia, has health issues related to neuropathy and also relies on home health. The Bergers have medical equipment at home and a nurse visits at least once a week.

“However,” Berger said, “they are right on it if we need them more often. If we call with a problem, they are here. It is a comfort to us.”

Berger acknowledged that he “can be really stubborn” when nurses suggest something he doesn’t want to do. But he is glad they can be stubborn too.

“For example, one day Jamie Herber from home health was here and so was my granddaughter, who also is a registered nurse,” Berger recalled. “My granddaughter said ‘you don’t look so good,’ and Jamie agreed.

“They wanted me to go to the emergency room but I didn’t want to go to the emergency room. I knew I wasn’t going to win. Jamie is a little more stubborn than I am.”

Herber is an RN and clinical manager at Lincoln Park Home Health. She noted that Berger’s positive comments are not unusual.

“Most patients are very thankful for our care and treatment, which oftentimes allows them to live in their own homes,” Herber said. “They say ‘I wouldn’t be able to do what I am doing without my home-health nurses.’ Patients truly appreciate someone checking in on them.”

Services include nursing; physical, occupational and speech therapies; and, in some cases, housekeeping. Lincoln Park continues to add employees to meet the demand in Smith, Lincoln, Russell, Ellsworth, Ottawa, Osborne, Mitchell, Cloud, Jewell, Republic, Clay and Phillips counties.

“In rural communities such as these, it is often taxing for patients to obtain the care they need,” Herber noted. “Home health allows physicians to monitor patients closely without frequent office visits.”

Additionally, she said, home-health professionals view the home environment from many perspectives. For instance, they notice obstacles and/or safety concerns in the home.

“The patient may not even be aware of these obstacles because they have become accustomed to them,” Herber explained. “We provide monitoring, education and resources that allow patients to safely maintain their independence at home for as long as possible.”

Lincoln Park averages about 50 patients weekly; a physician’s referral is required. “We work closely with physicians and inform them of any changes or needs throughout the time we care for their patients,” Herber said.

While home-health services are important now, the need will continue to increase, especially for the elderly in rural areas, the registered nurse commented.

“As the population ages, many people find themselves juggling work and family obligations, while providing care for an older loved one,” Herber explained. “This can be physically and emotionally difficult for caregivers and patients. Families may live miles away, making this situation even more difficult.

“These barriers often deter people from seeking the care they need. Research has shown that home-health patients have better outcomes and fewer complications. Our services are unique and provide one-on-one personal care, while we establish a trusting bond with our patients.”

For more information, call 785-420-0095.