Lutherans Offer Care For Those In Need


Rim country residents in need of home health care have a new option. The Lutheran Social Ministry of the Southwest has extended its in-home services to Payson and the surrounding areas.

"Pinal-Gila Long-term Care requested LSM come to the area to provide an option," said Lynda Murden-Sells, director of senior services for LSM. Before the arrival of LSM only one in-home health care service was available, Payson Regional Medical Center's Home Health Agency.

The services are available to not only Payson residents, but also those in Pine, Strawberry, Christopher Creek, Gisela, Rye and Tonto Basin.

She said the goal is to provide for 25 to 50 clients in the Rim country service area. Murden-Sells added the service brings jobs to the community, with benefits for full-time employees.

She said LSM wants to provide one-on-one service, so realistically, if the client goal is met, the service will be creating between 25 and 50 jobs.

"We strive for consistency (in care), so we don't have a lot of people in and out of the client's home and relationships can be developed with the caregiver," Murden-Sells said.

"The caregivers are experienced, certified nursing assistants and personal care certified caregivers providing attendant care, personal care, housekeeping, respite and companionship," said Nancy Jane Kopp, LSM Services Coordinator.

Care may be provided for short or long terms, she said.

"The services of LSM will enable an individual to recuperate in their own home comfortable with the professional care of qualified caregivers. It is felt an individual thrives better in their own home," Kopp said. "Respite services also give a much needed break to the family caregiver."

Both private pay and contract service requests are accepted.

LSM came to the Rim country in February and in April, Kopp was hired as its full-time service coordinator. Kopp worked as a social service director with the Salvation Army for 10 years and has also done case management. She has made her home in Payson for four years.

Presently LSM has seven caregivers, with Kopp doing the in-home assessment. She visits a client home and assesses their needs, including their medical history and the type of care required to help them recover. If necessary, Kopp can interview the client in the hospital or nursing home, prior to their discharge.

If an adult child is caring for their parent and would like more information about the LSM, they can get an appointment with Kopp or pick up a brochure for more information.

"Our goal is to keep people out of nursing homes and provide needed quality services. We also want to help family caregivers through tough times," Murden-Sells said.

LSM was established as a multi-service organization in 1970 and continues to be an organization committed to impacting people's lives through its work in health and human services. Its mission is to promote and individual's level of independence while maintaining quality of life with dignity and respect.

Through LSM arrangements may also be made to provide immediate care upon discharge from the hospital or nursing home by asking the case manager of the facility to contact the service directly. The services coordinator can schedule caregiver services according to the patient's needs prior to their discharge, allowing them to safely return home on the day of discharge.

For more information or for an in-home assessment, call Kopp at (928) 978-2489. Office hours of the LSM office in Payson are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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