Aitkin County CARE is taking home care services to the next level! Our new home visitor will be focused on empowering older adults to maintain active living and independence by assisting them with life’s everyday needs. Aitkin County CARE has added to our staff.

Holly Amundson is our Home Visitor.

What can she do? Set up Zoom, technology needs, help with establishing services, complete paperwork, notarizing your signature, printing forms, find resources, and the list goes on.

The Home Visitor will come to your home to help with any of the above, and much more.  

There is no charge for this service.  If you are not sure if we can help with a task, give us a call and find out. The Home Visitor is here to help older adults take care of things without having to leave your home.

Call Aitkin County CARE at 218-927-1383 extension 4 to ask questions of the Home Visitor.

What topics are on the portal?

The following is a limited list of topics, additions are being made regularly.

To receive a login call Aitkin County CARE Care Consultant, Kim Nutting. 218-927-1383 Extension 2 Have your email address ready when you call.

Respite for Caregivers

Are you a caregiver? Do you actively participate in some type of care for an individual? Maybe a parent, grandparents, child, aunt, friend, or neighbor? You may or may not live with that person. Maybe you even live in another state. Are you worried about them? Do you need a break? Respite is a mental and/or physical break for the caregiver. A respite worker will come into the home to ensure that the care receiver is safe. They will prepare a meal, assist with personal care and interact with the care receiver. So, for those few hours, you can go run errands, visit with a friend or just take a nap without needing to worry.

Richard an Eva

Richard’s mother, Eva, loves to come to Minnesota every summer. She spends the winter in North Carolina with Richard. Due to Richard’s work, he cannot join her when she heads north but worries a great deal about her being up here alone. She is still quite able bodied but is not always steady on her feet and sometimes neglects to eat. Richard requested respite services from CARE and a worker was sent to Eva’s four times a week during the entire summer. The worker ensured that Eva was eating properly, remembering to take her medication, and not taking any unnecessary risks with her balance. Richard was able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that someone was helping to keep an eye on his mother.

If you think you would benefit from respite services or would like to become a respite worker and give a caregiver some peace of mind, call Aitkin County CARE, 218-927-1383 Ext 2

Our Caregiver Consultant, Kim Nutting, will help you through the journey of caregiving.  Kim will help find the resources you need in the journey in a confidential manner.  She will be a listening ear for you and provide options for your specific situation.   It is a challenge to be a caregiver, and this position will support you where needed.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational series designed to provide you with the tools you need to take care of yourself. This program helps family caregivers reduce stress, improve self-confidence, communicate feelings better, balance their lives, increase their ability to make tough decisions and locate helpful resources.

Classes consist of six sessions held once a week. Two experienced Class Leaders from Aitkin County will receive a book, The Caregiver Helpbook, developed specifically for the class. A donation of $25 to help defray the cost of the book is suggested, but not required to attend the class. The next class will be available in fall of 2022.

How do we prepare for End of Life?

Death is a transition we need to befriend rather than fend off. When we face death directly with a sense of acceptance and curiosity, it becomes an opportunity for realization about the true nature of life. Aitkin County CARE has two newly trained End of Life Doulas ready to help. Here is what a Doula says about their work. The following excerpt is from, Jeri Glatter an INELDA-certified End-of-life doula.

Sacredness In Dying

In my end of life doula presentations, I tried to broaden the conversation on death to talk about how we die and the suffering that comes from focusing primarily on the medical, rather than the sacred nature of that process. One of the ways End of Life Doulas help individuals is by using a guided visualization to help people experience the sacredness of a life and the momentous nature of that life ending in its current form. Then talk about the different ways end of life doulas can bring sacredness to the bedside of those who are dying

Entering the room of a dying person in the final days or hours is a heartfelt moment. As an End-of-Life Doula, the Doula engages in being fully present. Often the loving gates of protection are rightfully in place – being supported by family members or friends. The desire to honor that space becomes paramount to the end-of-life doula.

To Be of Service

Once I stated my name and my role, the family asked, “What is an End-of-Life Doula?” So I started at the beginning and asked, “do you know what a Birth Doula is?” A negative response led me to begin again. I shared my knowledge that the word doula originates from a Greek word and in essence means to be of service. I explained that just as birth doulas are present to be of service to the birthing process, End-of-Life Doulas are present to be of service in the dying process.

The family was kind, openhearted and curious as they inquired, “How do you support the dying process?” I went on to explain that unlike the medical staff who is present to support your loved one medically, we are here to assist the dying and their family in the humanity of this life event. Our focus is to bring sacredness to this time. The philosophy end-of-life doulas embrace is that everyone is sacred. Our goal is to have that sacredness accompany him or her in their death, just as it did in life. Through this support and presence we hope to facilitate what is considered a “good death,” one in which the patient feels supported, loved and cared for as well as the family. We are that “space” in which the family can share their fears, their memories, and their hopes all free from judgment. We are that “space” in which the family can relax knowing that their loved one will not die alone.

End-of-life Vigils

As end-of-life doulas, one component of our role is to host a “vigil” during the active dying phase. We provide presence to the dying and their family. Having a “Vigil Plan” is the optimal occurrence. This is when a “Lead Doula” has had the opportunity in advance to discuss with the dying person the atmosphere that will bring them the most comfort. Just as a mother and father would craft a “birth plan” for the birth of their child, a vigil plan serves the same purpose on the other end of the life spectrum.

An end-of-life vigil plan typically includes creating a personal guided visualization, determining if the patient would like therapeutic touch, music, candles or aromas, as well as prayer or any rituals. I have helped create end-of-life vigil plans in which the patient wanted their bed next to the window and fresh flowers from their garden on the bedside table. Other vigil plans called for having the family cat lay in bed with the dying. The end goal is to create a plan which will provide the optimal atmosphere in their surroundings to bring peace and relaxation. Once this plan is created, it gives the family and the patient peace of mind knowing how we can all best support the dying in the end.

A Final Question: “Doesn’t this work make you sad?” asked the family. In this instance my answer was this:

I believe death is a natural part of life. Birth and death rest on the opposite ends of a lifetime creating balance. My perception is that these two events are the bookends of life and both are equally meaningful and worthy of being honored. The sacredness of death is discovered within the celebration of our life story—and our legacy is the multitude of wonderful chapters in between those two points in time—to be remembered, enjoyed and shared for generations.

Care has trained End of Life Doulas ready.   To learn more about End of Life Doula’s contact Aitkin County CARE at 218-927-1383 extension 2.

Please Contact: Elder Justice MN

Aitkin County CARE, Inc
20 Third Street NE
Aitkin, MN 56431

All rights reserved Aitkin County CARE, Inc

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