**NEW INFORMATION** Emergency Preparedness – information for clients and families
Thanks to all of our clients for your continued feedback and support!
Client Satisfaction Survey
We ask that current and previous clients and/or families take a minute and let us know how we’re doing. We value your feedback!
Hiawatha HomeCare along with the Best Life Alliance Campaign is working to promote awareness and understanding at the State Legislative Levels regarding the kind of needs our client’s and their families have.
My name is Craig Malmquist and my wife Sandra has a progressive disease called multi system atrophy. In November of 2011, Sandra had an exacerbation that resulted in respiratory failure and placement of a tracheostomy, dependence on mechanical ventilation and a lengthy stay in an institution. When Sandra was stable enough to discharge to home from the ICU it took 6 months to obtain nursing coverage due to payer source appeals and the hiring of nursing staff. All of Sandra’s nurses are highly skilled, ventilator trained nurses that must be able to think on their feet and be able to react in emergent situations due to changes in Sandra’s health or equipment problems. Sandra requires a Trach and back up Trachs, 2 mechanical ventilators (one is back up in case of mechanical failure), oxygen, heated humidity, a pulse oximeter, suction machine and suction kits, gastrostomy tubes, feeding pumps, a Hoyer lift, custom wheelchair, catheters and many other supplies. All of these items are necessary to safely care for Sandra in our home. Our home has turned into an ICU and our nurses provide ICU level of care.
Please support the Best Life Alliance Campaign. It is important to be able to retain nurses that care for medically fragile people like my wife. Hiawatha HomeCare assisted in getting Sandra discharged to home with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of complex RN/LPN services on June 14, 2012. Sandra has only been rehospitalized once since June 2012. All of Sandra’s respiratory or urinary infections and or illnesses have been successfully treated at home due to the excellent care her nurses provide. Home care is a cost saving alternative as compared to the nursing care provided in an ICU. Sandra receives ICU level nursing care at home, care that allows my wife to remain at home with me where she belongs. Her nursing care at home is comparative to the nursing care she received in the ICU but at a fraction of the cost.
My name is Steve Stefano, I am 51 years old and I have advanced ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). In 2014, my ALS advanced to the point that I am a quadriplegic and I cannot breathe on my own. I require a Trach, 2 mechanical ventilators (one is back up in case of mechanical failure), oxygen, heated humidity, a pulse oximeter, suction machine and suction kits, gastrostomy tubes, feeding pumps and many other supplies that are required to provide my cares and maintain my life. Since 2014 my wife Kris became the sole income provider and had to become responsible for all house maintenance and upkeep, roles that were previously shared with me. Before I could discharge from the hospital and go home to live with my wife, my physician required and ordered me to have 24 hours complex RN/LPN services.
April 30, 2014, I discharged to home with nursing services from Hiawatha HomeCare. My bedroom has been turned into a miniature ICU, provided at a fraction of the cost of hospital care. My nurses require specialized training before they can care for me. They must be able to trouble shoot all of my equipment in case of an equipment failure. They also require training to be able to handle any Trach/airway emergencies I may have. My nurses assess my overall status and update my physicians when there is a change in my health. This keeps me at home and out of the hospital. Whenever I am hospitalized I am sent directly to the ICU I require complex skilled care.
Since September 2015, I have had gaps in nursing coverage. Several nurses have left my case to work at a hospital where they receive higher pay and benefits and/or due to burn out from working too many hours. Because of the nursing shortage, Hiawatha HomeCare is having difficulty hiring nurses to replace our previous nurse’s positions. When I don’t have a nurse to care for me, my wife or other family member has to remain home to care for me. My wife needs to go to work and she needs to be able get adequate rest for her own health and so she can safely drive to work. Please support the Best Life Alliance campaign to enable home health care agencies to provide better wages, which will reduce staff turnover. This will promote the continuity of care so vital to the disabled community.