@Home Approach offers valuable service to Copper Country

After identifying a need in the community, three experienced dementia care practitioners decided to do something about it. After working in assisted living facilities, they saw many clients who wanted to and – with some care – could stay in their own homes. Lance Peterson, Linette Abb and Brenda Tuovila took the opportunity to open @Home Approach.

“After a long and rewarding career in the assisted living field, we were given the opportunity to better serve our seniors and families of our area in their own homes,” said Peterson.

The three have over 20 years of geriatric care experience and Abb has over 16 years of nursing and leadership experience working strictly with the geriatric population. She has had the pleasure to serve local elders in the nursing home setting, in private skilled homes, worked for UPCAP, and spent the last 11 years managing 2 assisted living and memory care communities. All three owners are Certified Dementia Practitioners. Abb and Tuovila are registered nurses, Tuovila holds a BSN degree. They are also all certified dementia practitioners. The upper-level nursing experience allows them to serve a wider range of clients.

“We gear towards dementia and memory care but because we do have two RNs on our staff we can get into skilled as well,” Peterson said.

Each patient is individually assessed and given a specific care plan. Some clients need only a few hours of care per week, while some require more regular visits. At the visits, Abb said, the caregivers do whatever needs to be done.

“We’ll help set up a lifeline, help with being a responder if there is no family in the area, make meals, clean up – A to Z, we’re willing to do it,” she said. “I’m also a licensed cosmetologist and I’ve already given a haircut.”

When taking on a new client, @Home Approach conducts an original assessment to determine the patient’s medical needs but also to assess the safety of the home.

“Part of that is a sweep of the home for safety. I’ve put in grab bars and things of that nature to make sure that people are safe. We make sure the the smoke detectors are working, get people set up with a lifeline – we do all that,” Peterson said.

Depending on the needs of the patient, caregivers from @Home Approach can make morning visits, evening visits, provide night time care or check in during the day. Even if a patient has a primary caregiver at home, @Home Approach can come in to give that person a break or peace of mind when that caregiver has to be away from the home.

“This gives them the relief and satisfaction that someone is their taking care of them,” Tuovila said. “They don’t have to worry – they know mom or dad is going to get their meals, their medications and some companionship during the day.”

Although they are certified in dementia care and tend to serve an elderly population, caregivers at @Home Approach are capable of serving the needs of clients of any age.

“Age is not really a factor. We can take care of anyone with any health needs,” Tuovila said.

Sometimes, regardless of age, their focus is less on medical needs and more on social and basic care needs.

“A lot of times the most important thing is just being a friend. A lot of people don’t have that support system where someone is with them every day,” Peterson said. “…I knew we were making a difference in people’s lives but didn’t realize how much until a client made this comment, ‘two wonderful things have happened in my life and one was related to surviving an auto accident, the other is meeting you and Linette. I was given the best gift, and can now stay in my own home.'”

The new business owners visited most clients on Thanksgiving and Christmas to assure they had a home cooked meal, a stocking filled with goodies, and companionship! They are in the process of making business contracts with UPCAP and DHS to better serve the community.

For more information, e-mail Linette Abb at linette@athomeapproach.com or call her at 369-3884, e-mail Lance Peterson at lance@athomeapproach.com or call him at 396-0535, or e-mail Brenda Tuovila at brenda@athomeapproach.com of call her at 369-5089.