Mile Bluff Medical Center
1050 Division Street | Mauston, WI 53948 | 608-847-6161

Proud to call Terrace Heights home

At any age, moving to a new home and a new city can be difficult.  Regardless of how big your previous residence was or how settled in you were, living in a different setting takes some getting used to.

Since 2000, Millie has been living at Terrace Heights Retirement Community in Mauston.  Before moving into her apartment there, Millie lived alone in Iowa.  Over time, her daughters noticed that the house was getting to be too much for Millie to handle by herself.  Her daughter Christi recalled, "Mom was living so far away from my sisters and I that we were not able to respond to her immediate needs.  She wasn't in good health at the time, and there were things that she was unable to take care of in her own home.  She needed to move closer to family."

"It was pretty evident, even to Mom, that she was living in a home that was way too large, that she could no longer take care of," says Christi.  "Basically, my sisters and I sat her down and discussed that her living alone was no longer doable for all of us.  We asked her what she wanted to do about it and we explored her options."

After looking at facilities near each of their homes, Millie's daughters decided that Terrace Heights was the best place for her to call home.  

Terrace Heights wasn't as expensive as some of the other facilities in Denver and Florida where by sisters live.  Terrace Heights offered more, and was right next to the medical center," explains Christi.  "It was the physical setting of the facility that won us over.  Terrace Heights isn't like a downtown high-rise.  It sits far enough out of town that you can see the woods or farmland when you're in the building.  I knew that was something my mom would like."

Although they did the searching, Millie did have criteria for her daughters to follow.  "Finding a place that was secure was really important to me, and Terrace Heights fulfilled that need.  To me,  it's really important to feel safe and know that not just anyone is going to barge in here."

When it came time to move her mom to Terrace Heights, Christi knew it would be easier said that done.  "Mom was moving from a large house; so making decisions about what she could take was very difficult for her," says Christi.  "My sisters and I had to make a lot of decisions ourselves."

After living in a four-bedroom house and downsizing to an apartment, Millie adjusted to the space difference.  "There were certain things that I missed, like all of my books," says Millie, an avid reader.  "I couldn't feel too bad though because some of the books were donated to the Rotary Club for a fundraiser, and to a veteran's hospital.  Even though I was disappointed I didn't have some things, I realized that it was all just stuff that could be replaced if I really needed it."

Millie moved to Terrace Heights sight-unseen.  "I moved in on Halloween, and the first person I saw as a tenant dressed in a bag lady costume for the occasion.  I thought, 'What have these girls gotten me into?'  I quickly realized though, just how great Terrace Heights is."

Adjusting to a new area and to new people was difficult at first, but now Millie's social calendar is quite full.  She frequently goes on bus trips, attends concerts and joins in on crafting classes.  "When I first moved in, I felt isolated because I was away from my friends back in Iowa, but the staff an other tenants really helped me settle in.  It just goes to show, you bloom where you're planted."

Millie even fell in love while living at Terrace Heights.  "I had lived here five years before I met and married Ken [who lived at Terrace Heights].  We were married five years before he passed away.  We really enjoyed living here and we liked that we could come and go as we pleased."

Christi and her sisters are pleased that Millie is living at Terrace Heights.  "Mom is doing wonderfully there!  When she first moved in, Mom was in poor health.  At the time, I thought it might only be six months before I had to move her into a nursing home," explains Christi.  "Since living at Terrace Heights, her health has improved and she is very healthy and active.  The improvement is remarkable!  Being in an atmosphere where people are around and there things to do has really helped Mom."

"Mom has been able to live on her own longer because of Terrace Heights," says Christi.  "She still is able to maintain activity and is still living pretty independently.  I do have to help her with heavy lifting, but she does a lot for herself.  It is nice to know that the people around her would know if she needs something too.  Even if she doesn't call me, someone will.  After all this time, the staff at Terrace Heights has become an extension of our family.  They take time to get to know us; even the newest great-grandchild!   They really are a wonderful support for us."

Millie appreciates having the staff and other tenants to watch out for her too.  "Even though we are on our own here, it's still nice to have someone who is looking out for you.  We check on each other," says Millie.  "Each of us also gets a Lifeline unit, so if there's an emergency, we can call for help."

Although Terrace Heights is an apartment complex that has many common areas, Millie still feels that she is able to maintain her privacy.  "If I want to talk to people, I can usually fund someone who wants to play a game of dominions.  If I want to spend time by myself, I just stay in my apartment."

If you are a child looking to help your parents realize it's time to move out of their home, Christi has some advice.  "Be very straight forward about the problems you perceive about your parents' living situation.  Talk about how difficult and stressful it can be for an older person to manage a household on his/her own, and how it affects you too," says Christi.  "There are so many obvious benefits of moving into a place like Terrace Heights, and your parents will no longer have to manage their household on a larger level.  Terrace Heights tenants are only responsible for their own space.  This is the approach we used with Mom, and it removed so much stress from her."

Knowing how great it's been for her, Millie would encourage those 62 and older to check out Terrace Heights.  "A lot of people don't want to give up their homes, but there comes a time when you really can't handle it," says Millie.  "Terrace Heights is just the next step in helping you maintain your independence.  Here, I can do what I want in my own space, on my own time.  I love my life here at Terrace Heights."

If you would like more information about Terrace Heights or would like to schedule a tour of the facility, call 608-847-2377.  Apartments are available.

TH - Mildred and Daughters
Millie (second from left) enjoys life at Terrace Heights!  She is pictured with her daughters (l-r) Christi, Jo, and Janet, who all appreciate their mother's home.

No smoking = Better surgical outcomes

To help your body recover properly after surgery, it takes a team effort between you and your healthcare provider.  One of the best things you can do if you smoke, is to quit.  Studies have found that smoking increases your risk of complications during and after an operation.  If you smoke and are scheduled for surgery, it is recommended that you take steps right away to become smoke-free.  Your healthcare provider has the knowledge and skills needed to successfully complete the operation, but your cooperation is needed before and after surgery to reduce the chance of any setbacks.

Not smoking before surgery will benefit you and your body in the recovery process.  Following, are five frequently asked questions someone who smokes may have when preparing for surgery.

Q: Why should I quit smoking before I have surgery?
A: Your chances of experiencing surgery-related complications greatly decrease when you quit smoking before your scheduled procedure.  Wound infection, pneumonia and heart attack are just some of the complications that could arise if you continue smoking before your operation.  Smoking is the single greatest risk factor for developing complications after surgery.

Q: How long before my surgery should I quit smoking?
A: It is especially important not to smoke the day of your procedure.  However, the earlier you quit, the greater your chances are for avoiding surgery-related complications.  It is recommended that you quit smoking two or more weeks before your scheduled procedure.  The body begins to heal within hours of quitting.  Twelve hours after you quit, your heart and lungs already being to function better as nicotine and carbon monoxide levels drop.  It takes less than a day for blood flow to improve, which reduces the likelihood of post-operative complications.

Q: Do I need to quit smoking even for a minor surgery?
A: Smoking impacts your body before and after surgery, regardless of the type of procedure you have.  It is recommended that all surgical patients keep from smoking for as long as possible before and after the operation.

Q: What risks will I have during surgery if I do not quit smoking?
A: People who smoke require special consideration and treatment when undergoing surgery.  The effects of smoking-related diseases increase risks of complication during surgery and recovery, as well as with anesthesia.  Due to better functioning of the heart, blood vessels, lungs and nervous systems, anesthesia is safer and more predictable in those who do not smoke.

Q: Should I quit smoking permanently, or can I resume after surgery?
A: Continuing to smoke after surgery greatly increases your risk of complications.  In one study, complication developed in more than half of patients who continued smoking after surgery, compared with less than 20 percent of those who quit.  If you choose to start smoking again, it is recommended that you at least remain smoke-free until one week after your procedure.

Smoking has an impact on your surgical outcomes.  Whether you decide to give up smoking altogether, you only plan to quit temporarily, or you have no intentions of stopping at all, it is important for you to be up-front with your healthcare provider about your use of cigarettes or other substances prior to surgery.  The information you share is kept confidential, and is only used to ensure that you receive the most appropriate care specific to you.

Remember, your surgery is a team effort; be sure to do your part in helping your body recover properly.  For information about the assistance that Mile Bluff offers to help you quit, call 608-847-1845.

Cancer care program provides much more than treatment

Juggling the responsibilities of work, home, children and budgets is enough to keep most people busy.  When an illness like cancer is added to the mix, new challenges arise, and oftentimes financial and emotional worries increase.  One person who makes it her mission to step in and offer help is Mile Bluff social worker, Rebecca Jadin.

"My goal is to introduce patients to resources at the beginning of their cancer journey.  This can take a tremendous weight off patients' shoulders in the midst of an already difficult time," explains Rebecca.  "I visit patients during their treatments, listen to their needs, and offer support."

Rebecca explained that patients often share their financial concerns with her, and she many times can find resources for gas money, daily living expenses and medication, as well as other forms of assistance.  "Last year, I know of nearly $50,000 of assistance that I was able to connect patients with; and during the first quarter of 2013, I have found over $10,000 of help for Mile  Bluff cancer patients."

Although these financial resources are a huge help, Rebecca stated that sometimes it's a simple smile and a friendly 'hello' that can make the biggest impact.  "There are times when the patients' greatest need is to be distracted from their situation.  I am happy to be able to provide that for them, and to let them know that they're not forgotten."

To help expand on her already-diverse knowledge, Rebecca will be attending a two-day learning session that focuses specifically on meeting the needs of cancer patients.  She says that after the program 'Excellence in Cancer Education and Leadership,' she'll be more equipped to help cancer patients.  "I'll have a better understanding of how to best meet the needs of the whole person - physical, emotional, spiritual and financial."

When asked to describe Mile Bluff's Cancer Care Department, Rebecca said, "It is extremely patient-centered, and that makes it really special.  The nurses are awesome and truly care about the individuals they serve.  Everyone works really well as a team to meet the patients' needs."

Rebecca is proud to be a part of that team, and she looks forward to learning even more ways to assist patients throughout their cancer journey.

For more information about Mile Bluff's Cancer Care Department, call 608-847-9877.

Daryl is up and active again, thanks to Mile Bluff - Hess Home Health

"Mile Bluff - Hess Home Health helped me walk again!" Those were the sentiments of Daryl Fabian, a former Hess Home Health patient.

Daryl's journey began when he experienced a stroke that left him unable to get around on his own.  He was admitted to Mile Bluff Medical Center, and after being released from the hospital, he qualified to have Hess Home Health come to his residence in Necedah to help him rehabilitate.

The primary goal of Hess Home Health is to provide home care in an effective and efficient manner, and that's exactly what the service provided for Daryl.  "I appreciated the fact that I didn't have to go out of the house, especially with all the snow and ice this winter," said Daryl.

After only three weeks of rehab, he went from needing a walker and a cane, to using nothing at all.  "I couldn't walk or do anything myself; now I am outside and walking on my own," exclaimed Daryl.

Daryl and his wife, Carla, appreciated the exceptional healthcare that was provided by the home health staff, along with the individual one-on-one treatment.  "The staff members were all very understanding, thorough and good at showing Daryl the exercises," recalled Carla.

When sick or in need of special assistance, home healthcare allows patients to function at their optimal level while remaining in their own familiar surroundings.  Daryl explained, "Without Hess Home Health, I probably would have had to go to a nursing home."  Though Daryl could have completed his rehab at a nursing home, he appreciated the fact that he didn't have to give up the comforts of his own home.

"I would recommend Hess Home Health to anyone who needs to build up their strength again after a stroke or any other medical issue," says Daryl.  "I believe that home healthcare helped me progress with my recovery a lot faster than if I had not had it available to me.  I have always gone to Mile Bluff, and I will continue going there for all my medical needs."

If you qualify for home healthcare, ask your provider about the assistance Hess Home Health care offer you, or call 608-847-1480 for more information.


Before receiving treatment through Mile Bluff - Hess Home Health, Daryl Fabian was unable to get around without the use of a cane or walker.  Thanks to the great care he received, Daryl is able to enjoy being active again.  He's pictured here (l-r) taking a walk with Barb Weiland, Hess Home Health nurse; Carla, Daryl's wife; and Karen Patton, Hess Home Health physical therapist.  These ladies are part of a full team that helped Daryl accomplish great strides in his rehabilitation process.

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