Building Trusting Relationships at Home
- Fall 2020
This year Brookings Health System celebrates the 25th year of hospice services and 35th year of home health care. The multidisciplinary team of nurses, aides, therapists, social worker, chaplain, physicians, and other care professionals have not only delivered exceptional care to patients—but also earned their trust.
“Home is where everyone is most comfortable,” says Kyla Huntimer, a registered nurse for Brookings Health’s home services, which includes three programs: home health, HEARTH (Helping Elderly Adults Remain in Their Homes), and hospice.
“A lot of times when we go to see a patient in the home they’ve already somewhat developed a trusting relationship with us because we have seen their spouse or we’ve seen them before and so they realize it’s not so bad to let people in their home,” says Kyla.
By building that trust, the home health and hospice team develops a special bond with their clients.
“I have met and become family with several of my patients over the last 24 years,” said Shelly Deknikker, LPN, who assists many HEARTH patients. The HEARTH program provides in-home assistance with personal care and hygiene, baking and meal preparation, housekeeping and laundry, errands and shopping. “We do everything we can to keep them at their house.”
“They really depend on us,” adds Lynette Richarz, an aide with 21 years of experience. She and other aides come to clients’ homes to help them with items like cleaning, bathing, grooming or other non-medical needs. “We’re kind of like a family member. Some of them don’t have family close by. They really look forward to seeing us because of lot of them don’t have company.”
In addition to building trust with patients, the home services team has also built trust with one another.
“We really do have a great team of interdisciplinary staff in our home health and hospice area,” said Kris Zobel, RN. “We all work together in coming up with a plan of care for our patients. We discuss them and we communicate with each other as to what the best plan of care is so we can all work toward the same goal.”
As a part of Brookings Health, the home services team can bring in specialist care professionals, like pharmacists or dietitians, to help patients.
“We have wound care, nurses, aides, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy,” said Physical Therapist Karla Hanson who often provides physical therapy in the home for patients, “and we’re all working together as a team providing the best quality service that we can. We’re in good communication with the doctor and the family and we try to help people obtain the goals they have for themselves.”