Herald & Journal, November 3, 1997

Lifestyle of care for community continues

By ANDREA VARGO

Caring for other people comprises a large portion of Betty Diers' life.

Diers, who lives in Winsted and owns a farm with her husband Glenn near Howard Lake, has lived and worked with people from the area for many years.

As a registered nurse with a degree in health arts, Diers has joined Cokato Manor Home Health with another local woman, Shelley Swenson, to assist members of the community with their health care needs.

Swenson is Cokato Manor Home Health Coordinator and received her experience as Wright County Public Health Nursing Supervisor for more than seven years.

Diers worked for Family Care Associates for over 16 years, when there were clinics in Winsted, Waverly, and Cokato.

"I learned a lot there that has helped me in home health care," said Diers.

She has worked for Heartland Home Care, which then became REM Homehealth.

Diers worked with the American Cancer Society for six years on the State Women's Cancer Issues Committee.

"People should remember from past newspapers," she said.

Now, as a registered nurse, she goes into homes to do case management and set up the types and kinds of care the clients need, she said.

Para-professional home health aides do the more personal care, and they can even do a minimal amount of housework and meal preparation.

The aides also do bathing and help the client with exercises, she said.

Every two weeks there is a supervisory visit by the registered nurse to observe the aide. "This is important, because we are Medicare certified," said Diers.

Diers said she is really excited about the range of services the home health business can offer.

Since the home health business is connected with Cokato Manor, an occupational therapist, speech therapist, and physical therapists are available to the clients, said Diers.

"Adult day care is also available, and we can follow up on orthopedic surgery cases that may require physical therapy. A social worker from the care center also works with us," said Diers.

If the client can't come to the facility, the therapist can go to the client, she said.

"The nice part is that I've always worked with Cokato Manor through all the jobs (with home health care), because it has excellent qualifications," Diers said.

Even Hutchinson home care clients use the staff at Cokato Manor, she said.

According to Jon Riewer, Cokato Manor administrator, care will be provided within a 20-mile radius, focusing on Cokato, Howard Lake, and Dassel.

The new home health agency complements the circle of care available to clients with Cokato Manor, Edgewood Gables and Heritage Place.

If you have any questions about the facilities or have health care questions of any nature, call Shelley Swenson at Edgewood Gables, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 320-286-3049.


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