Three times a week, Paulette Wright gathers her things, bundles up and prepares for her journey to dialysis.
Paulette is a resident at Good Samaritan Society – Sioux Falls Village, the largest, licensed skilled nursing facility in South Dakota.
“For dialysis, I got a wheelchair. They wheel me in and out just in case I get weak,” Paulette says.
Transportation is tiring
Although she receives treatment just across town at the Sanford Health Imagenetics building, the process of getting ready and loading up for transportation is daunting for the 49-year-old struggling with diabetes and blood sugar levels.
“Going up and down, up and down. Mainly up, then down,” Paulette says.
Luke Simmons is the nurse manager at Sioux Falls Village.
“It’s not fun. It’s not fun at all,” Luke says.
Having a father who gets dialysis treatment makes him hyper-aware of the trials.
“Sit there for four hours or however long their run is. Then wait for a ride to come back. Get back over here. It disrupts meals. It disrupts activities,” Luke says.
Staff-assisted hemodialysis den
He says a new addition at Sioux Falls Village is about to make a big difference in the quality of life for residents needing dialysis.
“I think it’s going to be huge,” Luke says. Down the hall from where Paulette lives, the Society is teaming up with Sanford Health to build the first, staff-assisted home hemodialysis den in the state.
“Basically, it’s so we can do hemodialysis here for the residents that are currently at the facility,” Luke says.
Maria Regnier is the Senior Director of Dialysis Services at Sanford Health.
“So the model of staff-assisted home hemodialysis is a newer concept,” Maria says.
Her dialysis team is nationally recognized for treating an above average number of patients in their homes.
“This den will house four recliners and four home hemodialysis machines,” Maria says.
Just like at Imagenetics, a staff member from Sanford Health will assist with the treatment. It will just take place at Good Samaritan Society.
“Together we will work on developing a plan of care for each patient and what their specific needs are,” Maria says.
Ready by mid-April
Paulette feels relief just thinking about it.
“That would be wonderful,” Paulette says.
The goal is to have it ready by mid-April.
“I think it will be great for the facility,” Sarah Vorvick, a registered nurse at the Society, says.
Great for residents and the health care heroes caring for them.
“If they don’t want to get dressed, they don’t have to. They can wear their own pajamas if they want to,” Sarah says.
Right at home where it’s safe.
“And that’s what this is for people – it turns into their home when they’re here for long-term care. I’ve had many residents say that to me. ‘This is my home.’ Being able to stay at home to do the dialysis and come back is way better,” Luke says.
Made possible by special grant
Way better thanks to the Society, Sanford Health and a significant innovation grant from the State of South Dakota.
“We hope that it will have an impact on their physical well-being as well as their mental well-being,” Maria says.
Maria hopes Sioux Falls Village will be the first of many Society locations to have this special den.
It’s all about caring for and uplifting residents.
“They just give me a lot of reassurance that I’ll be OK,” Paulette says.