Beginning in 2018 three businesses have moved offices into Powell that offer in-home health related services including Mel’s Helping Hands, Hyland Nursing Services and Stillwater Hospice, a …
Beginning in 2018 three businesses have moved offices into Powell that offer in-home health related services including Mel’s Helping Hands, Hyland Nursing Services and Stillwater Hospice, a hospice service that offers an in-home option.
Annie McWilliams, the area manager at Mel’s Helping Hands, which has offices across the state and has operated in the Big Horn Basin since 2018, said that there is “definitely a huge need for in-home-care” in the Big Horn Basin. She added that the closing of area nursing homes and subsequent need for relocation has caused an increased need for in-home services. Mel’s Helping Hands is also Veterans Affairs certified and serves a large number of veterans. This is a particular point of pride for the service, Annie said.
Brittney and David Hyland started Hyland Nursing in February and took their first client in March of this year to offer home health and in-home care because they saw a similar need.
“We sold a [similar] business in Washington that we had for 15 years and moved out here and didn’t have any plans of opening another business,” David Hyland said. “But after we saw the need for it, we thought well, we have some experience with this.”
Hyland works at Powell Valley Hospital and saw that post-surgery patients did not have many options for home-care following their operation.
He explained that home-care includes tasks like bathing performed by certified nursing assistants and no-contact tasks performed by home aides who cannot touch the patient but can assist with things like laundry and running errands. Home health services are skilled tasks performed by resident nurses and certified nursing assistants.
“So another difference is on the home health side, you know, Medicare will cover but they only cover for shorter episodes. They’re not going to cover someone coming into your house all day every day,” Brittney Hyland said. “Whereas the home-care side they can. A client could pay privately for someone to come and care for their loved one four hours a day, eight hours a day, seven days a week.”
Both Mel’s Helping Hands and Hyland Nursing offer valuable services to community members but they need more staff. Mel’s Helping Hands serves roughly 25 patients on average and Hyland Nursing has served roughly 10 patients for home health services and roughly five patients for in-home care. Hyland Nursing is currently looking for a full-time CNA and McWilliams said that staffing has been a barrier for all area managers in the state.
“I would love for us to have hundreds of clients, that means we need more staffing,” she said.
Stillwater Hospice in Powell offers a different but equally important service in Powell homes and in their facilities. Since 2019, Stillwater Hospice has been serving hospice patients “from Clark to Thermopolis and everything in between,” said Gerri Ackley, the executive director of Stillwater Hospice. In late 2022 Stillwater Hospice moved to its Bent Street office for more space — on average Ackley said that they have 30 patients.
“Anybody that has Medicare, so anybody who’s 65 or older and has Medicare, has a hospice benefit attached to that Medicare card that they get,” Ackley said. “It’s not talked about, it’s not advertised. I don’t know why. But this hospice benefit that people have, Medicaid has the same benefit private insurances, they have a benefit as well.”
For Medicare patients Ackley said that “everything hospice does is 100% covered.” This includes medication related to the terminal diagnosis as well as medical equipment and care. Stillwater Hospice offers CNA, RN, licensed practical nurses, social workers and chaplains. Also under the hospice benefit is grief support and respite services for the family.
The most important thing, Ackley said, is that people take advantage of their hospice benefit sooner than later.
“Most of our clients are in home … there’s a national survey, 80% of people want to die in their home but only about 25% of people get to do that. Most people end up dying in the hospital or somewhere else because they came on hospice late or they didn’t get the opportunity to come on hospice,” Ackley said.
For more information about Mel’s Helping Hands call 307-262-4891, for more information about Hyland Nursing Services call 307-250-8087 and for more information about Stillwater Hospice call 307-300-2750.