MN health care ratings, You may be surprised - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

MN health care ratings, You may be surprised

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- It's something to crow about in The Med City, federal officials have concluded that Minnesota has the best "clinic health care" in the country. Now, the not-so-happy part, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality ranks Minnesota 43rd in "home health care."

Compared to other states over a period of years, home health care aides in Minnesota didn't have as good outcomes in a number of areas. We picked just a few: improving mobility, better at getting in and out of bed and improving bathing.

The reality is that hundreds, if not more people in the Rochester area receive help from home health care aides every day. For many of the seniors that use the service, it allows them to keep their independence, something they desperately say they don't want to lose.

It's just another day on the job for Bobbie Jo Bleifus, as she works with client, Eileen Nelson.

"They cook my meal and do the dishes - clean the bathroom," stated Nelson.

A mixture of chores but mostly, small talk, bonding.

"It gives me somebody to talk to during the day," explained Nelson.

Bobbie Jo has been working with Eileen for the past year.

"It can be anything from just going in and cleaning their house to taking them to doctor appointments and grocery shopping, make sure they get their medications and anything," explained Bleifus.

In that time, their relationship has grown to feel less like a job, and more of a friendship.

"They get excited to see me when I come in, they're upset to see me leave. They just make me feel like part of their family," stated Bleifus.

A family that has helped Eileen maintain her independence, something she hopes to never give up.

"They will never get me to a nursing home, I'll fight them tooth and nails for that, never - never!" exclaimed Nelson.

Thanks to home health care aides, like Bobby Jo, it's a reality.

"It's work, but it's well worth it to make sure that at the end of the day everyone is taken care of," said Bleifus.

Statistics show with the aging population more home health care aides are needed. The president of C-N-S home health care said from what he's noticed, more seniors prefer to stay in their own homes and avoid nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

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