"Short Term Care and Rehabilitation is probably one of the most exciting changes for Villa St. Vincent that I have seen in decades", notes Administrator, Judy Hulst.
A 33 year veteran, who started as an RN in the 70s, providing care and leading a nursing staff in the days when a "nursing home was really just that, a place for elders to come and live."
Adds Hulst, "Nothing stays the same." In addition to providing extended care, memory care and assisted living, Villa St. Vincent has responded to the changing needs of the people of Crookston and the surrounding region by establishing a 20 bed Short Term Care and Rehabilitation unit.
"Health care reform and our commitment to being good stewards of limited health care dollars have helped Villa St. Vincent focus on the needs of the community," Hulst says. "Having broadened our service capacity to offer a full range of specialty short term care and rehabilitation, the focus for our patients in this unit is to transition home as quickly as possible."
Hulst goes on to say that even the name of this new service can be confusing, "post-acute care, transitional care, short stay care, whatever you call it; it is simply a customized approach of specialized skilled nursing care and physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to help people regain strength and relearn skills. So they can successfully return home after a major surgery, illness or injury."
This past year, 68 percent of the people that were admitted into the care of Villa St. Vincent "graduated" from their individualized programming, accomplished their goals and went home. Hulst says, "We really take joy in seeing people recover and are proud of the fact we are very good at what we do."
Hulst notes that the Villa Team continues to provide multiple levels of compassionate care for those living on our campus, while offering:
• Full physical, occupational, speech and massage therapy
• Peritoneal dialysis
• Specialized nursing services such as IV therapy, ostomy and respiratory services
• Palliative care to support those journeying to eternal life
• Many other unique services such as low vision, lymphedema or incontinence therapies, etc.
Olson a fan
Charlie Olson, a 64 year old Crookston native, exemplifies what Hulst describes.
In October, Charlie required a below the knee amputation due to diabetes related complications. Knowing he'd eventually be fitted for a prosthetic, but, in the meantime would need to heal his leg and maintain his upper body strength, Charlie took advantage of the Villa's Short Term Care and Rehabilitation Unit.
Of his experience with the skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services, Olson says, "There are very great people working here. It takes a certain kind of person(s) to work in this environment and they are here. I'm getting great care and the therapists are really good. I couldn't ask to be anywhere else, except for home………and that's where I'll soon be.
Page 2 of 2 - "I do look forward to going home but, I have to say, everyone here has been awesome," Olson continues. "These people here do a great job. They even have a masseuse (massage therapist) who works with those of us who are here for a short while."
Charlie's wife, Carol Olson, says of the Short Term Care & Rehabilitation Unit, "This has been so convenient having Charlie right here in Crookston. I am able to come up here every day and see him. If he were out of town, that wouldn't be possible. Plus, it make is easier for his friends to come up and see him, too. The staff has been wonderful. Charlie looks forward to getting back home, though in the meantime, this is the best place for him."
Villa St. Vincent has been recognized nationally (one of 15 in the nation since 1998) by the American Health Care Association for its commitment to continuous quality improvement throughout the campus, including The SUMMIT Assisted Living and Good Shepherd Hall Assisted Living (located at Mount St. Benedict).