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Published on October 31, 2014

November is Home Care & Hospice Month

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Nov. 1, 2014) – Vital care happens at hospitals and care facilities, yet sometimes the best care environment is home. November is National Home Care & Hospice Month, a time to celebrate and raise awareness about the high quality of care offered in patients’ homes.

Avera@Home, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, brings together home health and hospice services under one name throughout the Avera region. Through 16 locations, Avera@Home serves an average of 1,000 patients per month, with an average of 8,200 visits per month.

Home health offers a full range of skilled nursing, therapy and home health aide services. Delivering health care services in the home has many advantages, including continuity of care from the hospital to home, medication reconciliation in the home, shorter hospital stays and prevention of re-hospitalization.

Hospice is specialized care for patients living with a terminal illness. A qualified team of doctors, nurses, social workers, clergy and volunteers delivers care for the body, mind and spirit. Avera’s hospice care provides care both in the home or another facility, including the Dougherty Hospice House. Goals include medical, emotional and spiritual support as well as pain and symptom control, helping improve quality of life for patients and their families at end of life.

During this era of health care reform, the focus is starting to shift toward keeping people healthy and out of the hospital setting. “It’s an amazing time for home health and hospice services,” said Sandy Dieleman, President and CEO of Avera@Home. “While most segments of the health care industry are shrinking, home health care is growing.”

“A typical home health experience doesn’t look like what it used to. Technology that facilitates collaboration between hospitals, physician partners and nurses is amazing and continues to advance on what seems like a daily basis,” Dieleman said.

In a recent study by the American Association of Retired People, 90 percent of baby boomers want to stay in their own home as long as possible, yet home and hospice services are often underutilized.

“Given the choice, most people would prefer to be at home as opposed to a hospital or long-term care facility,” said Cathy Kellogg, manager of Avera@Home Sioux Falls and Dougherty Hospice House. “The services we provide at Avera@Home help people do just that. There’s something to be said about healing in a home environment. It’s familiar, comfortable and safe.”

Avera@Home has home health and/or hospice care in the following communities: Aberdeen, S.D.; Creighton, Neb.; Estherville, Iowa; Gregory, S.D.; Hartington, Neb.; Marshall, Minn.; Milbank, S.D.; Mitchell, S.D.; O’Neill, Neb.; Parkston, S.D.; Pierre, S.D.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Wessington Springs, S.D.; and Yankton, S.D.

To learn more, call 605-322-7704 or 605-322-4663 or go to

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