‘Whatever steps you take, you are in good care here’

Registered nurse Donna Koester gives resident Penny Beske a hug. Penny likes the personal care Koester and others give to the residents at LB Homes.        Photo by Carol Stender

Registered nurse Donna Koester gives resident Penny Beske a hug. Penny likes the personal care Koester and others give to the residents at LB Homes. Photo by Carol Stender

As people age, their needs change. And when those needs require new services, LB Homes, of Fergus Falls, is ready to meet those needs.

“Health care is really a changing industry,” said Mary Widiger, LB Homes marketing director. “It is changing because people’s needs are changing.”

LB Homes’ ministry in senior services started a century ago. Over the years it has expanded services to meet seniors’ needs and includes long-term care, short stay, assisted living, independent living apartments; enhanced assisted living apartments; Lakeland Home Care, LBHomes Connect, a telehealth option of care; and Lakeland Hospice, for the last months of life.

Each individual has different needs, and each story is unique. Here are a few of those stories.

Fern Kremeier has visited her husband, Lawrence, often as he recuperates at LB Homes Broen Short Stay in Fergus Falls. And she’s never had to step outside while going from the couple’s apartment to the short stay unit.

The Kremeiers have resided at LB Homes Sheridan House which offers one- and two-bedroom independent living apartments for those 55 years old and older. It’s connected to the Broen Home, a long-term care center, which also houses Broen Short Stay.

Lawrence Kremeier chose Broen Short Stay where he would recuperate from surgery. When his wife, Fern, visited him, she never had to step outside to get to his room. The couple lived at LB Homes Sheridan House and, as Lawrence will need more care once he’s released, they will move into Alcott Manor which offers assisted living apartments. All buildings are connected. Lawrence likes how the staff from one facility to the other work as a team and confer with each other to offer optimum care.

Lawrence Kremeier chose Broen Short Stay where he would recuperate from surgery. When his wife, Fern, visited him, she never had to step outside to get to his room. The couple lived at LB Homes Sheridan House and, as Lawrence will need more care once he’s released, they will move into Alcott Manor which offers assisted living apartments. All buildings are connected. Lawrence likes how the staff from one facility to the other work as a team and confer with each other to offer optimum care.

Because Lawrence will need more care when he’s released, the couple will be moving into Alcott Manor which provides assisted living services and is part of the complex.

“What we’ve liked is the ability to go from Sheridan House to Alcott Manor and to Broen and never be exposed to the conditions outside,” Lawrence said. “And whatever steps you take, you are in good care here.”

During his stay at Broen Short Stay, Lawrence has been in a spacious room with a flat screen television, Internet service and chef-designed meals. He’s received nursing and rehabilitation services as he’s healed. But he has, most of all, enjoyed LB Homes’ care.

“We chose to be here because we knew the care was good,” he said, “I will have to say, through my observations, that the staff at the Broen Home and throughout the entire program, including Alcott Manor and Sheridan House, work as a unit and as a team. They confer with each other and do what is best for each other and for you. ”

Penny Beske is a resident of Broen Home. She enjoys the many activities she can take part in including cards, sing-a-longs, stick ball and, her favorite, dominoes. While she’s not able to always attend services at her home church, Penny is able to either worship at Broen or listen to the service broadcast within the building.

Penny Beske is a resident of Broen Home. She enjoys the many activities she can take part in including cards, sing-a-longs, stick ball and, her favorite, dominoes. While she’s not able to always attend services at her home church, Penny is able to either worship at Broen or listen to the service broadcast within the building.

Penny Beske has been a resident of LB Homes’ long-term care facility since May after her doctor said she needed additional care. She uses a wheelchair to get around, but it certainly hasn’t stopped this Fergus Falls resident from continuing her active lifestyle.

She enjoys the many activities that are part of the daily events at Broen Home. There are games focusing on their knowledge of current events. The residents play stick ball, cards and, her favorite, dominoes. She also enjoys the sing-a-longs.

Penny likes the services and care, both physically and spiritually, that are offered.

Although she is not able to attend the regular Sunday worship services of her home church, she is able to worship at either LB Homes’ Sunday services or she can listen to it through its broadcasts in the building.

Woodland Lodge is one example of LB Homes meeting senior’s ongoing needs. The enhanced assisted living apartments, for those 55 years and older, offers an “aging-in-place” option. Residents experience a direct alternative to nursing home and traditional assisted living care. Residents can stay at the lodge even as their care needs change as they age.

Lakeland Home Care provides skilled nursing and personal care along with physical, occupational and speech therapy in the home. Its services are offered within a 30-mile radius of Fergus Falls.

Carrie Miller (right) demonstrates LB Homes’ telehealth option. Medical staff and families can monitor the health and well being of their loved ones. The unit registers temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar and more. Individuals can also talk to medical staff, their children and connect to the Internet.

Carrie Miller (right) demonstrates LB Homes’ telehealth option. Medical staff and families can monitor the health and well being of their loved ones. The unit registers temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar and more. Individuals can also talk to medical staff, their children and connect to the Internet.

LB Homes Connect is LB Homes’ telehealth option. The easy-to-use touch screen monitor connects the patient with their loved ones and LB Homes staff. It can monitor weight, blood pressure, oxygen, blood sugar, temperature and more.

Individuals can chat with family and friends and use the Internet with extra features.

Carrie Miller, who directs the telehealth program, has experienced the benefits of technology first hand. Her father, Bert Hovland, used LB Homes Connect to monitor his health and also to stay in touch with his family. He would play games with his grandchildren, video chat with his daughters and watch his grandchildren’s sporting events.

There are a number of options on the telehealth screen, Miller said. For example, those using the system can read one of several newspapers, view Bible readings and listen to hymns, see the local forecast and current temperature and play a variety of games.

Meanwhile the system can monitor not only the individual’s health, but also their movement.

“If it’s January and they go outside to take out the garbage, the system can detect when they’ve left the house and for how long,” she said. “If they would fall, it would note the length of time the individual is outdoors and it would alert staff or family.”

LB Homes also offers Lakeland Hospice services for those within the last six months of life. Anyone of any age with any qualifying life-limiting disease or condition can receive care within the Lakeland Hospice service area, which includes all of Grant and Otter Tail counties and portions of the surrounding eight west central counties in Minnesota.    

Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits and most private insurance companies.

Therapy dogs have also been added as part of the hospice caregiving, Widiger said.

Bereavement services are also provided for those who are grieving for up to 13 months after a loved one has passed. Grief support groups are available for any adult who has lost a loved one regardless if hospice services were used or not. For a list of scheduled groups, go to LBHomes.org and click on Lakeland Hospice.

When LB Homes formed a century ago, its organizers had foresight recognizing the care needs for seniors. That same commitment is seen in the many services LB Homes provides, from senior living to health care options.

To learn more about all the housing options and services of LB Homes, call 218-998-1400.