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The path to independence

Created date

September 21st, 2010

Two years ago, Fox Run resident Thomas Cain seriously damaged his right knee when he fell down some stairs at his daughter s home in Novi. Before the accident, I was a pretty healthy guy, he says. So when he left the hospital following surgery, all he wanted was to go home and regain his independence. He did both, because Fox Run s Medicare-certified Home Health Agency came right to his apartment home and provided the services he needed. In 2009, Fox Run became the first Erickson Living community to also offer its home health services outside its gates. We go from Novi to Dearborn to South Lyon to Farmington Hills, says the agency s Home Health Administrator Linda Premo. They served 127 such clients last year. Her staff of licensed and certified professionals also serves residents at Fox Run s sister campus, Henry Ford Village. What prompted the expansion? Continuity of service, for one thing. Home health clients typically progress from a hospital stay to a short-term rehab facility to in-home health care. Premo noticed that many people in short-term rehab at Fox Run s rehab and skilled nursing facility didn t live at the community. When they completed their rehab, they had no choice but to contact a different agency for in-home services. I thought we should be serving those people after they left, Premo says. Following those clients home, as it were, was a win-win. Our staff wanted to do this, Premo says, and they give the best care I ve ever seen.

A range of certified services

Medicare pays 100% for intermittent skilled home health care services when patients are homebound and a physician orders services. As a certified agency,Fox Runprovides skilled nursing; physical, occupational, and speech therapies; medical social work; and home health aides. Cain needed physical therapy and brief nursing care. Before he left the hospital, he could get himself in and out of bed and could hobble to the bathroom with the aid of a walker. Still, his right leg was in a brace, and he was ordered not to put weight on the leg. Driving, of course, was definitely out. So although he was home, he was also homebound. Agency staff met Cain when he arrived from the hospital and arranged for accommodations in his bathroom and for assistive gadgets like that funny device to help you get your socks on, he says. Soon after, he started six months of therapy withFox Run sPhysical Therapist Jill Greenfield. They met three times a week for an hour or more each session. I really wanted to walk without any type of assistance, and Jill was determined to get me recuperated, says Cain. That included some discomfort, but she was gentle and kind in motivating me. When he could discard the brace, they shifted from non-weight bearing exercises to those that had him walking along the hallway, up and down stairs, and around curves. He advanced until after six months, I didn t need anything! he says. That s the agency s aim, says Premo: We want the client to say, I feel good, and I don t need you anymore. Of course, the client s physician also has a say about that.

Who needs home health care?

Besides orthopedic patients like Cain, people with diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, and chronic lung diseases benefit from home health care. And a hospital stay of even a few days will set people back weeks in their ability to move around, Premo says. Whether it s a hospitalization or the flare-up of an illness, if people can t get out of their house without feeling drained, they should talk to their doctor about home health care. Fox Run sagency consistently receives high ratings on its satisfaction surveys. For more information, call 248-668-8692.