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Tama County Public Health & Home Care celebrates Home Care and Hospice Month in November

November 17, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

-Part I-

During November the home care and hospice community honors the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who make a difference for the patients and families they serve. These caregivers play a central role in our health care system and in homes across the nation.

With 10 thousand Americans turning 65 every day, the need for health care will continue to rise, and costs will continue to skyrocket. This is where home care and hospice come in. As the preferred choice for most patients, it also offers the greatest cost savings. For example, Medicare, on the average, pays nearly $2,000 per day for a typical hospital stay and $450 per day for a typical nursing home stay. Meanwhile, home care costs less than $100 a day and helps many U.S. seniors remain independent at home, enrich their lives, and keep in touch with those they love in a familiar setting.

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Tama County Public Health & Home Care provides services throughout Tama County, with a staff of 5 RN's, 1 LPN and 5 Home Care Aides on the road every day to help provide needed care to young and old. The team of workers in the office answer questions and makes sure everything from insurance needs to program requirements are met.

Nurses and aides start their days at 8 a.m. and head out to cover the needs of residents in every corner of Tama County. Rain, snow or sunny days, these ladies have plenty to do and miles to travel to get their jobs done. An RN's day could involve admitting a new patient to home health, a routine visit to set up medications or provide wound care or IV therapy. Home Health Aides can provide a variety of help to individuals like: bathing assistance, cleaning, laundry, meal preparation and even grocery shopping. All services are provided based on physician's orders. Nurses and aides are on call so that there is coverage twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

Help us in thanking the home care staff for all they do every day to help meet the needs of the residents of Tama County.

Fact Box

This begins a News-Herald / Chronicle rural health outlook series provided by Tama County Public Health and Home Care and to be followed up by Iowa Watch reports on rural hospitals and more.

NEXT: Operations and profiles of the Tama Co. Public Health & Home Care office staff.

Brenda Bridges has worked as an LPN since 1993, prior to coming to TCPH&HC, she worked in long term care. She has provided in home care at TCPH&HC for 19 years. Aside from her work with clients in home, Brenda provides foot care clinics throughout Tama County. One of her favorite things about her job is getting to know the people and meeting their needs. Brenda enjoys making wreaths, gardening, mowing and crafts in her free time.

Irma Castanon from Tama, has worked for Tama County Public Health and Home Care for 5 years, previously she worked as a Certified Nurse's Aide in a long-term care facility and is also a pharmacy tech. Irma became a CNA in 2011, when asked what her favorite reasons for working as a home health aide are, she states that she "is blessed she is able to help someone that would need my help with cares, daily living and that I get to meet so many caring people, it melts my heart!" When Irma isn't working, she enjoys painting and can't resist chocolate! Her life is her children, Alicia, Jaden and Natalia.

Kathi Fehr is the Home Health Aide Supervisor at Tama County Public Health & Home Care. Kathi has been an employee for 37 years. Kathi states that her favorite thing about working at Tama County Public Health and Home Care is being able to help keep clients in their own home. Kathi enjoys weaving in her free time.

Tracy Hathaway has worked for TCPH&HC for 10 years. She has worked as a med aide in the past as well as a home care aide. Tracy's job keeps her busy as both an Office Assistant and a certified home health aide. Her favorite thing about working as a home care aide is

"Taking care of people in their homes, they are so appreciative of you. It is rewarding to be able to help people be able to stay in their homes, help them find easier ways to do things or find resources that gives them more confidence when they need it most. It is rewarding to meet so many people in the community and be greeted with smiles and hugs of gratitude". Her hobbies include gardening, reading, scrapbooking, riding motorcycles, antiquing, traveling with her husband, spending time with family, friends and especially her grandchildren. She is married to Marty and has 3 grown children and 8 grandchildren.

Gina Hoskey from Montour, has worked for Tama County Public Health & Home Care for 15 years. Gina has over 20 years of experience as an aide, and worked in long term care for 7 years as a Certified Nurse's Aide before coming to TCPH&HC. Gina works in the homes of our clients all over Tama County. Her favorite part of her job is meeting new people and being able to help them stay in their homes. Gina loves to garden, scrapbook, crochet and do a variety of crafts.

Vickie Skyberg has worked for TCPH&HC for 6 years. She became a CNA in 2011 and worked in long term care and hospice prior to working for TCPH&HC. When asked what she likes best about her job, she said:

"I absolutely love working at Tama County Public Health because of my fellow employees and my clients! My clients are like my family I love them and love helping them! My fellow employees are amazing to work with! We're like a big family, everyone helps everyone!!" Outside of work, her family is involved in Drag Races and she loves to fish. I have an amazing husband of 33 years, 5 wonderful children, Matthew(Ann), Michael(Kayla), Morgan(Jake), Mitchell(Briana), Megan(Joe) and 5 Grandchildren! Addysyn, Hadley, Kinsley, Avery and Oliver!

"My family means the world to me and I am blessed to have them and blessed to have a wonderful job and amazing fellow employees!! Tama County Public Health Employees Rock!"

Gayle Walker has worked as an aide for over 11 years, before coming to TCPH&HC she worked in assisted living. Gayle has worked for Tama County for 10 years.

Her favorite part of her job as a Home Health Aide is getting to know the clients and hearing about life back in their day and being able to help and make a difference in their lives. In Gayle's free time she likes to sew and enjoys baking (we all know her banana bars are the best!)



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