HRMC Home Health and Hospice Honor Vets
November 10, 2015
HURON, S.D. – Many Americans do not realize that one in four of all deaths in the U.S. are Veterans. As the nation honors these American heroes for their military service on Veterans Day, it’s important to remember that they also deserve recognition and compassionate care when dealing with a serious illness.
These Americans have made profound sacrifices in defense of freedom and they deserve heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Honoring our nation’s Veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end.
Tim Caulfield served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Belle Grove LSD-2, the Navy cruiser, from 1958 to 1964 – two years on active duty and the rest as Naval Reservist. As he looks back on those years, Caulfield said, “I was completely content to be serving my country then. We were proud to do our part. Any young man that served came out of the service a better man. We learned discipline, responsibility, and respect.”
From a musical career to specialized equipment building in Saudi Arabia, Caulfield says his whole life has been blessed. “I got to see parts of the world I would not have otherwise and I worked alongside some great guys. I started my music then and I have been using it ever since.” said Caulfield who has lived in Huron for the last 36 years, “I can’t imagine anyone more blessed than me.
Caulfield was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010. “I needed surgery to remove a portion of my colon and the Veteran’s Administration took care of it all,” he said. “My Country really stepped up and took care of me for my service those many years ago.”
Now, due to ongoing health issues including diabetes, coronary artery disease and macular degeneration, Caulfield receives a visit twice a week from a caregiver from Huron Regional Medical Center’s home health and hospice. “Those nurses and aides are the best. I don’t know what I would do without them,” Caulfield explained. “Their care is the reason I am still here. Without them I would be so overwhelmed and I wouldn’t be able to care for myself.”
Because of the macular degeneration, Caulfield was having difficulty reading the labels on his medication and taking it properly. He also needed help with managing his vitals and some of the daily living activities like bathing. That’s where HRMC’s home health services came into the picture.
“Since 2010, HRMC home care and community hospice has been a part of the We Honor Vets program, partnered with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization,” said Karen Decker, RN, homecare and hospice nurse. “This program helps us to provide excellent care to our veterans, and to meet the unique health care needs that many of our veterans are faced with. It ensures that our veterans are honored, and receive respectful, quality care. This partnership is also designed to empower hospice professionals to meet the unique needs of Veterans at end-of-life and provide support for their families.
Caulfield was referred to HRMC’s home health program by the Veterans Administration in Sioux Falls. “Tim has been a client of HRMC home health program for more than years. Home health has helped Tim to improve and maintain his quality of life, to monitor his various medical conditions and provide education on these conditions and his medications, to help him better care for himself at home.”
Caulfield says if not for the care he receives from home health he would have to be in assisted living. “I am blessed to be able to be able to stay in my own home. I am able to work in my shop and play my guitar.”
Home health services are provided to patients of all ages who live in a 20-mile radius of Huron. Many different in-home services are provided by home health staff. In Caulfield’s case, the staff have assisted him with taking his medications and monitoring the effects of the medication and providing a medication planner, provided assistance with personal care, such as safe bathing or grooming, provided physical therapy to improve his movement and provided education on his as diabetes, heart condition and kidney disease.
“Our partnership with the VA and other Veteran’s organizations assures that our local veterans are able to receive the care and resources they need, for both home care and hospice services”, said Decker.
Caulfield has endured many physical limitations, but continues to have a positive outlook. “I’ve been blessed and I just want to do what I can to bless others.”
If you know a veteran who is in need of home health or hospice care, call HRMC at 353-6520 or visit NHPCO’s Caring Connections at www.caringinfo.org or by call the HelpLine 800-658-8898.
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