Community Nursing Services cares for Emery County's residents with love and compassion
It is the human element and the relationships that are established that make home health and hospice so unique. JoAnn Jensen is a nurse with Community Nursing Services. She visits the homes of several Emery and Carbon county residents. On this day she is at the home of Stan and Dorlynn Nielson in Clawson. Jensen said, "We help patients be more comfortable and they don't have to go to the doctor as often."
Dorlynn said, "I think JoAnn is pretty neat. She is my friend. We needed help with Stan to keep him from falling. So we called CNS. They come in twice a week now. Also a certified nursing assistant, Sarah Lee Kemple comes in every day. She is so good with Stan. When he gets confused she just brings him around again. She plays cards with him and gives him his bath. She talks with him. She even helps him shave. They really do a good job. I just don't know what I would do without Sarah and JoAnn. They offer me a lot of moral support as well as caring for Stan. We also get a lot of good help from our son Randy and his wife Jamie Nielson. Randy has worked for maintenance for the LDS church and was also the firechief in Ferron. I don't know what we would do without them and their children.
"When I was in the hospital, our granddaughters came and took care of Stan. Home health can also come in more as needed," said Dorlynn.
Stan worked for the Emery County Sheriff's Office for 13 years as the animal control officer. He is an avid woodworker and continues to tinker around in the workshop in spite of his illness. Stan has Parkinson's disease which gets steadily worse as time goes by. Stan began his love of working with wood early in life when he built his first house which was a log cabin on Wilson Mesa in the LaSal Mountains. Throughout his life he worked on houses and milked cows in Idaho for 15 years. He worked in Moab and Blanding at lumber yards. He worked at the power plant for a time. Wherever their travels have led them, Dorlynn and Stan have gone together and worked together. They have plowed and planted and worked as a team. Their partnership began 58 years ago when they were married on Aug. 6, 1950. She started going with Stan at a young age. Stan said, "I couldn't get rid of her then and I can't get rid of her now." Dorlynn worked at Ace Hardward for 10 years and operated her own fabric shop in Castle Dale for three years called Grandma's Fabric.
Stan rides along as Dorlynn goes out into the community to run her errands. When she goes for her hair appointment with Anita Mills in Castle Dale, Stan is there. "I take him everywhere," said Dorlynn.
Jensen said she has learned a lot about Stan in caring for him. She knows he is a perfectionist and he spends time looking out at his woodshop and wishing he could continue his work out there. His daughter recently stayed with him and they went out in the woodshop and he put together a jewelry box he had been working on. "It just bothered him that it wasn't perfect he could see the marks in the wood and it wasn't perfect. With his Parkinson's disease he will shake and he sometimes gets confused and forgetful. Stan still works on his machines, but with supervision. He even got out there and mowed the lawn on the riding lawn mower this summer," said Jensen.
Dorlynn said, "It's hard for Stan to know there are things he can't do now. He has always been such a workaholic. The last two years his shaking has gotten worse. He had a pallidotomy which helped with the shaking. The Parkinsons just freezes their joints. He does go out in the shop and I check on him."
Jensen said one of the goals of home health is to allow a person to still be active and to be as active and functional as they can be for as long as they can be. "Some of Stan's days are worse than others, but we want him to enjoy every moment of the time he has left," said Jensen.
Jedd Olsen, CNS nurse said the home health nurse also acts as a liasion with the doctor. They can give the physician updates on the patients condition. JoAnn can address those needs. JoAnn helps keep Stan at home and not having to go to the hospital all the time. Home health and hospice allows a patient to pass away at home with their family. We help take care of the patients. We enjoy and celebrate their lives. Everyone is going to die at some time. But, we celebrate the time they have left, we make them more comfortable. We want things to be as good as they can be. We try to keep couples together, like Dorlynn and Stan," said Olsen. Olsen said home health has a good working relationship with Dr. Otto Dickman from the Emery Medical Center. He is good to come out to the patient's home, if they need a visit from the doctor. This helps the patients so they don't have to be transported for a doctor's visit. JoAnn is really good to pick up the subtle changes in our patients which might prove important," said Olsen.
Medicare pays 100 percent of home health and hospice services. Home health also offers respite care. If Dorlynn needs to go somewhere then there are people available to come in and stay with Stan. Volunteers for home health also make phone calls to caregivers and patients to see how things are going in the home.
"There's just not anything, hospice and home health wouldn't do to help Stan and I," said Dorlynn. Jensen said, "We try to do everything we can for them."
Dorlynn said, "We enjoy every day to the fullest that we can. None of us know about tomorrow. We take good care of each other."
Jensen said, "Home health is such a good experience for me. The patients are just so easy to love."
Home health nurses are on call 24-7 and all the patients have all the numbers for their nurses and can call them anytime of the day or night with questions and concerns.
Jensen said she has worked in home health for six years and just likes being in the homes with the patients. The patient has more control in their own home.
JoAnn and Dorlynn both describe each other as best friends and what are friends for if not to help each other out. Dorlynn always has a big smile for JoAnn.
In asking Stan how old he was he said he was 107 years old but Dorlynn said no he's just 79. But, Stan is a joker he loves to laugh and always has a twinkle in his eye that lets you know he's about ready to pull something or he already has and you'll find out what it is soon enough. Stan is a hard worker. "We've had a wonderful life together," said Dorlynn. Stan isn't the only joker in the family as Dorlynn once sent gravy in his lunch that Stan thought was chocolate pudding. One day she just sent chicken bones and then asked him how he liked his lunch.
Stan's wood projects have included: cedar chests, cabinets, tables, jewelry boxes, cupboards, bowls, knick-nacks; just about anything out of wood Stan has produced with his talented hands. Dorlynn enjoys crocheting and quilts and has made quilts for each of the grandchildren. The Nielsons have 16 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. They have lived in Clawson for the past 20 years. They ended up in Emery County when Stan's sister Desie Oviatt talked him into coming down to work at the power plant and they have been here ever since.
Established in 1928, Community Nursing Services, (CNS) is Utah's oldest and only freestanding not for- profit home health and hospice agency. CNS is pleased to have been a consistent provider of home health and hospice care services in Carbon and Emery counties since 2000. Recently, CNS received two distinguished health insight awards. CNS also recently received a perfect state survey rating. Linda Beal, RN MSN, director of CNS's Price office states, "CNS is also CHAP accredited. CHAP is an independent home health agency accreditation body." Beal continues, "This accreditation does not come easily, and is not lightly given. CHAP accreditation is an indication of the excellent staff and the quality of care that we are consistently giving." In November of 2006, CNS opened a station in Castle Dale. The station not only serves as a fully functional office space for three full time registered nurses, but also serves as a centralized location for meetings, blood pressure and flu vaccination clinics and other needs that arise in a thriving, rural home health agency. The office also stores medical supplies. Having an office that stores medical supplies right here in Emery County decreases mileage and saves valuable time that can be spent at patients homes, says Megan Burke, RN, full time case manager of CNS. CNS shares a building with Tyler Jeffs at Farm Bureau insurance, 45 West Main Street in Castle Dale, just north of Boyd's Family Pharmacy and across the street from the Emery Medical Center.
CNS provides a comprehensive range of home health and hospice services including nursing, certified nurse's aides, physical and occupational therapy, licensed clinical social workers, speech therapy, spiritual counselors and volunteers. CNS will coordinate and assist with insurance authorization and verification, CNS accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most private health care insurances. Medicare Part A covers 100 percent when patients meet Medicare guidelines. CNS will also coordinate delivery of pharmaceutical supplies and durable medical equipment. CNS is prepared to process referrals from patients, families and members of your health care team 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.
CNS is also prepared to meet the home infusion needs of its clients. Medications are prepared by clinical pharmacists according to physician orders. Pharmacy infusion/IV needs are provided in accordance with strict protocols based on state and national standards. Nurses and pharmacists provide specific patient education based on each individual patient needs. CNS provides state of the art supplies and equipment including infusion pumps.
Jedd Olsen, RN from CNS states, "In general, I don't think people in the community really understand how much home health can help. Many intravenous medications can be given safely at home. When administered in the home setting, IV antibiotics and other medications can decrease the need for emergency room visits and prolonged hospitalizations." Olsen also adds, "Home health care patients tend to have much less anxiety in their own home setting when appropriate."
"CNS provides free, in-home health evaluations. CNS is committed in providing Emery County with the highest, quality care that can be obtained in a home health care setting. Call us locally at 381-2044 and schedule a time for a registered nurse to visit your home to see how we can help. You just might be surprised at all of the help that you can receive," said Olsen.