Kindhearted expands to meet growing needs in community
BY TINA L. SCOTT
The Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting at Kindhearted Home Care on Aug. 23, 2023, to celebrate the expansion of the Kindhearted facility to accommodate more clients, to meet a growing need in the community.
This expansion wasn’t a physical expansion of the space, as that wasn’t needed. “When we built our building in 2016, we created additional space [so we would have that available] if we ever wanted to expand our services,” said Diane R. Goetsch, owner of Kindhearted Home Care, LLC.
Rather, this expansion relates to increased licenses for the state certified adult day care facility. In November 2022, Kindhearted increased their licenses from 18 to 32 participants, providing the ability to meet a growing need for their services.
We see that there is a growing need for care in our community as people are living longer, wanting to age in place, living with a loved one, and there are less resources for placement in assisted livings and long-term care facilities, Goetsch said.
“Our adult day care gives them a supervised social outlet during the day or when their loved ones are at work,” she said. The staff focus on providing a positive, fun, uplifting environment where everyone feels welcome and supported, she said.
Kindhearted Home Care opened their State certified adult social center in 2012. “While caring for a client in their home, they asked about a place to take their loved one instead of having to leave their house [and moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility],” Goetsch said. That planted the seed of an idea Goetsch grew into the current and still growing facility.
Kindhearted offers a social day program that provides a supervised safe, supportive environment for adults with dementia and Parkinsons disease, elderly who are isolated or in need of social interaction, and individuals with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.
Those clients of the facility enjoy a wide variety of activities including light exercise, games, arts and crafts, educational tours and demonstrations, music, and daily community outings to go out for lunch, go bowling or shopping, and much more. Volunteers and organizations in the community provide additional positive experiences for day care attendees, such as bringing in therapy dogs. All of these activities and opportunities give attendees much-needed regular social interaction, along with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Services are also available for area children with physical and/or intellectual disablities. “In 2013, we changed our program description to have an intergenerational environment,” Goetsch said.
In addition, Kindhearted offers in-home services to many clients in the Merrill area community. “Our supportive home care companion/homemaker services assist/allow our clients to remain living in their homes,” Goetsch said, for clients who need both short-term and long-term care.
Kindhearted Home Care initially began as a business to provide supportive home care services, and they continue these services as the foundation of their business today.
Those in-home care services include post-operative assistance, respite care so family members can take a break, personal care and dressing assistance, meal planning and perparation, laundry and ironing, housekeeping, shopping and running errands, coordinating and scheduling appointments, and providing supportive companionship.
In working with clients over the years, Goetsch identified additional needs within the community and set out to meet those needs. That ultimately resulted in construction of the adult social center building at 120 S. Mill St. in Merrill. “In 2016, we built a new center to incorporate all our services under one roof,” Goetsch said. “We also added a Health & Fitness Center [that is] open to the public. This gives community members a place to improve their strength, balance, and stability in a clean, friendly, and comfortable environment with cardio and strengthening equipment.”
“We also have a barrier-free shower room, so if you or a loved one are concerned with safety while showering or if your shower/tub is no longer accessible to your needs, we can help with either stand-by or full assistance,” Goetsch said.
In addition, Kindhearted provides toenail care for those who are not diabetic, with a pre-assessment.
Goetsch and the Kindhearted staff don’t just provide services to their clients; they provide those services with care and compassion and develop real relationships with the people they serve and their families. “We take care of people,” Goetsch said.
“I look back over the years of more than 1,000 clients and families I have met with, and we served in this community,” Goetsch said. “They all have a story.”
“I have laughed, cried, and mourned the loss of their loved ones,” she said. “I have met people that I will cherish forever and call friends.”
Goetsch and her staff provide tangible assistance with client’s physical needs, but they do much more than that. They are “making a difference in the ordinary, everyday life of a person” and they experience that difference through the “smiles, joys, tears of gratefulness from a client/participant and their family members.”
“We love what we do,” Goetsch said, speaking for herself and her staff. “Helping all our clients/participants and community is what keeps us motivated. “
“Because of what we do at Kindhearted Home Care, we are making a positive difference in the community, and that is our success.”