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Many Lakes offers a PCS helping hand

"Looking for a good fit between client and personal care attendant is my number one priority," said Heidi Neuer of Many Lakes Home Care. Legislation addressing more fiscally responsible personal care stalled the opening of her business, but she lauds the changes. "It's a better program." (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Those in need of assistance in completing daily activities can turn to Many Lakes Home Care, Heidi Neuer and her staff now providing in-home personal care services.

Neuer, a registered nurse, said the 12-hour shifts she was experiencing at the hospital were leading to "burn out."

She went to work in home care "and loved it." Before long, she decided to strike out on her own.

"I prayed," she said. "And I guess I heard him. Loudly.

"This is above and beyond my wildest dreams," Neuer said of the "helping hand" she now extends to promote independence via PCS. "They are the best clients, so flexible, so appreciative of the services.

"What I've found is they are so afraid of losing their independence," she said of her clients. "It's difficult for many to accept the services."

She helps clients come to terms with assistance by reminding them this allows them to remain in home. "But things will change," she counsels. "And we need to make decisions for the future," she said of talking to family members.

Public health nurses complete the assessments; Many Lakes Home Care steps in at the recommendation of the public health nurse, addressing acute or chronic health issues.

Many Lakes Home Care employees enter homes of the clients with an understanding "a special trust has been placed in their hands." Clients range from young to elderly. "There is no age limit to disabilities.

"We are their eyes and ears. We hope to keep people from acute situations via this support."

Many Lakes Home Care is a Personal Care Provider Organization, with Neuer doing the hiring, training, scheduling and supervision of staff. But she also accepts PCA Choice clients, families serving as the administrator of the program, Neuer as the fiscal intermediary.

The PCS include activities of daily living - bathing, dressing, eating and more. The client-oriented services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. "The client chooses how to use the hours. They become friends, like family."

The employees of Many Lakes Home Care are screened, with background checks and ongoing monitoring.

Services might include meal planning and preparation, shopping for "essential" items, performing household chores or participating in community events.

Respite care, homemaking chores and companion services are also considered "instrumental activities of daily living."

Pay sources may include Medical Assistance; Prime West, a managed care organization; private pay or waivered services. She also plans to contract with Blue Plus, Health Partners, Medica and UCare.

Questions may be addressed to Neuer via e-mail at manylakeshome