Dialysis Care at Continental Nursing and Rehabilitation
Senior Living - December 7th, 2016
The statistics are sobering – kidney disease is on the rise in the United States today. One in 10 American adults (more than 20 million people) now have some level of chronic kidney disease. End-stage renal disease is especially hard-hitting among African Americans at a rate that is three times higher than for Caucasians.
Know Your Healthcare Options BEFORE You Need Them!
At Continental Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, we realize that not everyone subscribes to the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. However, it’s darn good advice for anyone – Scout or not.
Consider the unexpected illness or a scheduled surgery for a hip or knee replacement - definitely not high on anyone’s priority list, if given the choice. Would you know what to do or where to go when these care decisions arise?
The fact is, no one’s immune to life’s downturns. A little prevention, along with some preplanning, "does a body good" when health takes a hit.
Here’s how to be in the driver’s seat instead of under the bus:
Defining post-acute care and respite stays
Are you familiar with the term "post-acute care?" After getting discharged from the hospital for an illness or surgery, patients sometimes need to go to a facility for ongoing medical care or rehabilitation. This portion of your recovery is referred to as "post-acute care."
Physical, occupational and speech therapies can do wonders for rehabbing a patient back to optimal functioning again so they can return home and pick up right where they left off. Post-acute care may also include intravenous antibiotics, dialysis, pain management, respiratory therapy or nutritional services.
And, if you live alone and are apprehensive about meeting your daily needs during recuperation, you can go to a post-acute care facility for respite care. There, you will receive the assistance you need for ongoing recovery while staying in your own room for five days to five weeks, or more. It’s up to you. Most post-acute care facilities offer respite care. Ask if they do, and if so, find out what their length-of-stay or minimum/maximum stays might be, along with daily or weekly rates.
Tour a facility ahead of time
Did you know that you can tour post-acute facilities (once called nursing homes) just by calling and making an appointment? A designated staff member will escort you around the building, explain services, and even show you an empty guest room. You are welcome to ask questions and even watch rehabilitation therapy sessions in progress.
Taking a tour ahead of time demystifies post-acute care and provides you with the reassurance you might need.
You’ll also want to screen post-acute facilities for the types of insurance plans accepted to make certain you’re in network ahead of time.
Whether you’re exploring care options for yourself or a loved one, facilities are accustomed to clients calling and asking for tours. So, take advantage of this opportunity to learn more before making such an important decision that will greatly impact ongoing recovery.
On the Job 40 Years and Still Loving It
Not many people can lay claim to holding one job their entire career and still be at it 40 years later. Well, meet Bob Hanke, 58, maintenance director at Continental Nursing & Rehabilitation, 5336 N. Western Ave. In 1976, he applied as an eager 18 year-old shortly after construction ended, and well before its doors opened for business.
Recently, Continental Nursing & Rehabilitation staff held a recognition celebration for Bob Hanke’s 40 years of dedicated service presenting him with an engraved crystal plaque, buffet luncheon, decorated cake, and assorted gifts.
How it all started…
“I walked in the front door and sitting at the reception area, unbeknownst to me, was the building’s owner. He asked me what I wanted and I said – ‘a job!’ ” recalled Hanke. “He put me to work sweeping and cleaning at $2.35 an hour. The construction crews had just completed work on the building leaving behind the usual dust and debris. It was my job to start making the place presentable.”
As one of six children raised only a few blocks away, Hanke knew that he was not interested in attending college as some of his siblings were. Instead, he watched the construction of this new building in the neighborhood, and figured there might be work there as it neared completion. It was also an easy walk from his home – the same home he still resides in today.
Soon he was assembling beds and un-crating furniture, as little by little this small neighborhood nursing home began to take shape.
Forty years later, he is considered indispensable continually coming to the rescue solving maintenance issues of this 181-bed facility anytime day or night. And, if you consider that the facility sees about 150 admissions annually, his dedication has helped 6,000 patients over the course of four decades.
“It’s so true,” agreed Erin Johnson, one of the staff CNAs. “Whenever we don’t know what to do about anything in the building, everyone always just says, “Call Bob,” and he’s here in a heartbeat.”
Over the decades, Hanke’s job also became his source of friends and family -- he even met his wife there -- formerly a nurse on staff. Later they parented three children while remaining in the neighborhood.
Along the way, Hanke observed many changes in the healthcare industry.
“Nursing homes, years ago, were considered the last resort – a place someone went to die,” he said. “Then in the 1990s that view changed drastically as reimbursement methods changed and nursing homes were financially rewarded for helping a patient get better and go home – not just warehousing them.”
Now, Continental offers a full range of services from in-house dialysis and advanced physical therapy to comprehensive wound care.
“The dialysis program here never would have gotten off the ground without the expertise of Bob,” noted Scott Vavrinchik, one of the guests at the party and Executive Director of Affiliated Dialysis Centers based in Glen Ellyn. “There were many construction challenges retrofitting an older building like this with the appropriate plumbing to make dialysis care viable. But, Bob pulled it all together and we are proud to service patients here with state-of-the-art care.”
Recently Hanke said his grown children asked him, “Dad, how do you stay at a job for 40 years?”
Hanke’s reply came easily as he recounted the conversation. “you’ve got to like what you’re doing. I like helping people – talking to our patients and residents. Sometimes just listening is all someone needs. you don’t come here to get rich, you come here to help others.”
Continental’s administrator, Jonathan Dixon, enjoys working with Bob and believes he sets a good example. “Bob wears a lot of hats in this building,” Dixon said. “Whether he’s running an errand to the Dollar Store for a patient, shoveling snow, or stopping to chat with someone feeling down, Bob’s definitely the right man for the job.”