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Home atmosphere key part of CCU at La Verendrye

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If you ask Lori Caul of Fort Frances what she thinks about the quality of care given at the Continuing Care Unit of La Verendrye hospital here, don’t expect a brief reply—and don’t expect anything less than oodles of praise.

“Oh, I couldn’t say enough [good] about it,” Caul, whose mother has been a patient there since December, enthused Monday evening. “My mother has Alzheimer’s, and is in need of constant care, and [CCU] is unbelievable, absolutely wonderful.”

“There are very, very, special people up there, believe me,” she stressed. “They get run right off their feet some days and they still want to do more for you.”

The 28-bed unit, renovated two years ago, houses private, semi-private, and three- and four-bed rooms. It’s focused on both long-term and short-term patients, including those who’ve suffered a stroke, fractured a hip, or are coping with Alzheimer’s.

The electronic beds, complete with built-in weight scales, were donated by the local hospital auxiliary.

RN Wendy Derendorf said CCU was geared to maintaining as close to a home atmosphere as possible because many of the patients do return to their own homes after recovery.

“Rehab is our big push [and] a lot of patients go home that may not have been able to,” she noted. “We try to return people to a level of status at home.

Lunch and dinner meals are served in the dining room, which also is used for weekly church services, music groups, and monthly birthday parties.

Other get-together’s for CCU patients include a Parkinson’s and Stroke group, day hospital, fun and fitness, and shuffleboard.

“Patients are encouraged to be dressed in regular clothing, both active and chronic, because that’s more like home,” Derendorf said. “They’re also encouraged to do their own laundry—and even that’s accessible from a wheelchair.”

“The nursing staff are a very patient and compassionate group of people who try to make a patient’s stay here as painless as possible,” she noted.

CCU includes a staff of 10 full-time registered nurses, one part-time RN, and 12 full-time registered practical nurses. Also on board is one registered nurse manager and a ward clerk.

The pediatric wing, for children from infants to mid-teens, is located on the same floor.

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