Home health care keeps millions of patients out of hospitals, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities around the country. Through the efforts of the medical personnel employed in home health care, patients can recover from illness or surgery, learn to cope with chronic health problems or get special guidance for the care of newborns in their own homes.
Rim country residents have two sources of home health care: the Payson Regional Medical Center Home Health Agency and the Lutheran Social Ministry of the Southwest.
"Study after study shows patients heal better in their own environments," said Colleen O'Connor, director of the PRMC Home Health Agency.
LSMS service coordinator Tina Contreras agrees.
"The services of LSMS will enable an individual to recuperate in their own home comfortably with the professional care of qualified caregivers," Contreras said.
The PRMC Home Health Agency has 12 nurses who make an average of 200 visits per week, O'Connor said.
"We have a fantastic, fabulous staff. Our patients just love their nurses," she said.
The LSMS service is newer to the area. It was invited to Payson in February 2004 by Pinal-Gila Long-term Care, according to Lynda Murden-Sells, former director of senior services for LSMS.
There are currently seven caregivers working with LSMS in Payson and Pine. However, the goal is to provide for 25 to 50 clients throughout the Rim country and it has yet to reach that goal. LSMS also strives for consistency in care, so there won't be a lot of people in and out of a client's home and a good relationship can develop between the patient and caregiver. The LSMS caregivers are experienced, certified nursing assistants and certified caregivers who provide attendant care, personal care, housekeeping and respite care.
The PRMC program has a registered nurse on call 24 hours a day and has private care available to provide clients with someone to do shopping or companionship. There also are certified nursing assistants who provide light housekeeping services along with patient care, such as bathing assistance.
To receive assistance from either provider, contact may be made by either the patient or their family.
A doctor's orders are needed before the PRMC program can be started. With LSMS, arrangements can be made to provide immediate care upon discharge from the hospital or nursing home by asking your case manager to make contact.
To find out more about the PRMC Home Health Agency, call O'Connor at (928) 472-5245.
For information about LSMS in-home health care, call Contreras at (928) 978-2489.