Life can change instantly. A bone-breaking fall, a stroke or complications from chronic diseases such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis are game-changers. Suddenly, one is rendered helpless and becomes dependent on others, most often family members. But what does a busy family do when they are already stretched thin for time or budget or face geographic limitations?
Home health care is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States and will continue to rise as the aging population increases. Keeping people in their homes rather than more expensive nursing home or assisted-living options is the goal. Statistics show that people who choose home health care are happier overall and embrace their independence.
In February 2013, husband-and-wife team Mike and Lauren Redpath Auge opened Advanced Medical Home Care in White Bear Lake. Their independent licensed home health care agency currently serves the Twin Cities 13-county metro area with 11 employees, and offers an array of specialties including physical, occupational and speech therapy, skilled nursing and home health aides.
Mike Auge has a master’s degree in physical therapy and has worked in a variety of care settings, large and small. “I always dreamed of starting my own business, and the timing was right. With prayer and the support of my wife and family after our daughter Lula was born with a mild form of osteogenesis imperfecta, we decided to embark on this journey. I want to do something extraordinary in life, something in which Lula can take pride,” says Mike. “Working closely with families and seeing my patients regain their independence and mobility is the most rewarding part of my job. I’m also motivated by our loyal, dedicated staff. They love people and are genuinely committed to service.”
Lauren, who is the business and marketing manager for the organization, keeps everything running smoothly and makes sure communication channels stay open. “We’ve fully embraced today’s instant technology tools and [software applications], and our staff is in constant communication with us and with families on patient scheduling and care updates,” she says. “I think it sets us apart from other agencies and defines the ‘Advanced’ in our name.”
Registered nurse Nicole Hinzie, a White Bear Lake native, has worked for Advanced Medical Home Care for six months. “There’s something special about coming to work here each day. Mike and Lauren’s energy and vision are so inspiring. Their total focus on patient care and client satisfaction is something you don’t see often enough these days,” she says. “Putting my nursing skills to use in a home setting is rewarding. I love the independence. I can set my own schedule (for the most part), use my creativity to help patients overcome barriers to care compliance, and just be a caring friend and advocate.”
Becky Beenken’s 85-year-old mother suffered a series of health crises. “First, a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Then, while being treated for colitis, a drug reaction caused steroid-induced delirium, which left her despondent and hallucinating. Then came hip replacement surgery following a fall. It was such a desperate time for our family,” says Beenken. “She has improved immensely with physical therapy from Dr. Mike and Victor. She just loves them.”
Beenken lives in Iowa and shares the load with her five sisters. There are daily check-ins and conference calls to compare notes. “Communication technology makes it possible to seem like I’m right there between taking [my mother] to doctor appointments,” she says.
Application materials are submitted and approval is pending for the agency to become a Medicare–reimbursed agency. Currently, patients are under private pay arrangements. Advanced Medical Home Care offers competitive rates for varying levels of care and service; evaluation and intake forms can be filled out online.
For more information:
Advanced Medical Home Care
2074 E. County Road E
White Bear Lake