New technology will help clients stay safely in their home
By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Knute Nelson Home Care opened an office in Little Falls at 77 East Broadway Sept. 1. The company, based in Alexandria with another office in Long Prairie, offers skilled nursing services, home health care, physical, speech and occupational therapies, along with advanced technology to enhance the experience for its clients.
It’s all geared to keep its clients home and out of the hospital, assisted care facility or nursing home.
Knute Nelson, a non-profit, Lutheran-based business, provides many services to its clients including medication set-ups, dressing changes, intravenous care, mental health assessments safety checks in the home, ensuring a safe environment for its clients. The office in Little Falls serves clients from Onamia to Brainerd to Waite Park.
Branch Manager Toni Diede said her company also does personal care such as bathing, dressing, cooking, laundry and general homemaking.
“We also offer our clients socialization,” she said. “We will sit with them and chat, read to them, play cards and more.”
The new technology Knute Nelson Home Care offers its clients includes medication machines which remind clients when to take their medications. It also offers the Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) which is similar to the Lifeline. It is worn as a bracelet or necklace and will remotely connect to the phone line, calling a family member or 911 if there is an emergency.
The most innovative of Knute Nelson’s technology is Grand Care which ties the technologies available, plus more, into one package.
“It includes a computer touch screen which has the medication reminders, Lifeline or PERS right there,” said Diede. “It will help manage our clients weight and blood pressure. It will show exercises for physical therapy, with a real therapist doing the movements right along with the client. Another feature is allowing family members to upload photos of the family to their loved one along with showing videos of a grandchild’s sporting event or recital in real time. There are also Skype capabilities.”
Knute Nelson, said Diede, prevents hospital stays. The company looks at the entire package which includes family, client safety, pets, lifestyles and socialization.
Diede said Knute Nelson partners with Thrivent for Lutherans to set up community presentations. Locally, it is working with Unity Home Care and St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls to promote Grand Care. A future presentation to the community is being planned.
“Clients will not have to have a contract with Knute Nelson to be able use it,” said Diede. “It’s a whole new level of home care.”
Diede said that the major insurance companies who are looking at Grand Care have each chosen one of their clients to try it out. Each will assess how well it does in keeping medical costs down by reducing the number of times their clients go to the doctor or the hospital.
“So far, clients have loved it,” said Diede. “Home care is less expensive than going to a nursing home or assisted living facility. This technology helps clients to be more independent and stay in their home longer.”
Diede started with Knute Nelson in May. She has eight years experience in the home health care field. She received her licensed practical nursing degree from Alexandria Technical College, her two-year registered nursing (RN) degree from Fergus Falls College and her four-year RN degree from the University of Phoenix, Ariz.
She currently lives in the Alexandria area with her husband, Brian.
“I was excited to open this facility in Little Falls. My father, Ron Goracke, was in the National Guard at Camp Ripley and I spent a lot of time here,” she said.
For more information, contact Diede at (320) 639-2010.
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Knute Nelson lived from 1843 – 1923. He was born in Norway and immigrated to the United States with his mother in 1849. He fought in the Civil War, practiced law in Wisconsin and moved to Alexandria in 1871. He was the Douglas County Attorney for two years, a state senator for four years, a member of the board of regents at the University of Minnesota for 11 years and was a member of the state congress for three terms. He was elected governor of Minnesota in 1892 and re-elected in 1894. In 1895, 1901, 1907, 1912 and 1918, Nelson was elected to the U.S. Senate