Care & Rehab – August 2020

A Family Company Committed to Care.

Thank you! This newsletter is dedicated to all the wonderful Care & Rehab Staff, families, friends, volunteers and neighbors! Since the start of the Covid-19 lock down in March, everyone continues to dedicate their hearts & spirit to keeping all staff, short-term rehab & longer nursing care patients and residents safe! At all of our locations, we have continued to accept new short-term rehab and longer nursing care patients and residents since the start of the lock down. We strive to focus everyday on the the moment we are in. We don’t want to focus on the question, “When will this end?” This moment is what is given to us. We are grateful for the new visiting guidelines that were rolled out recently.

As a child, I saw my mother care for the sick and the frail. I saw first hand how my mother contributed through the care she gave, and it set my life’s path-to help people directly. Grant and I entered the ownership role over 20 years ago. I studied Business and Nutrition in college. When I entered our first location in Ostrander, Mn, I knew then that this is where my heart belonged and still does. When the lock down occurred, my heart sank. “What do you mean, I cannot go in?” From there I wrestled with God. “How can I be helpful enough from my computer and phone?” Even though we put in long hours and never shut our phones off, my heart still ached.

Become a Certified Nursing Assistant through on line studies? Wow, is this a burning bush sent by God? I had requested to take the class a few months ago, but then Covid hit. I have always wanted to help the staff more than I could legally do during my visits to all locations. Yes, I am happy to report that I am finished with the online portion and the 5 day skills training in our Neillsville location. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I take the state written & skills tests to receive my CNA license.

My heart was struck during the classes and during my skills training. I am sincerely grateful and humbled by our employees. The staff of the Care & Rehab Family have integrity and strong ethics and values. They all consistently follow Federal, State and Local laws and regulations each day. They are professional, caring, compassionate, confident and have amazing patience! In this newsletter, we will be highlighting some of the great employees at Care & Rehab. This newsletter would be hundreds of pages long if we highlighted all of them. I am so proud of all the Care & Rehab employees! Enjoy your reading and Thank you!! Andrea Thayer, Owner/V.P.

Care and Rehab Wisconsin Minnesota Andrea Thayer

Andrea Thayer & Kathy Ludwiczak,(Instructor) R.N.

Coming thru the doors?

If any of you would like to take the CNA course or to apply for a few other open opportunities, please let us know by phone or We follow the guidelines and regulations that indicate only medically necessary staff are allowed in the building. If you become a Care & Rehab Staff Family Member, you can come into the locked doors too.

Care & Rehab Staff Members are appreciated. There are many benefits to becoming a staff member. A few to hightlight are:

  1. Referral Bonus– If an employee refers a Nurse or C.N.A for employment with Care & Rehab, and if we hire that person, the employee will be paid $500, if the referred employee works successfully with us for 6 months or more.
  2. Tuition Reimbursement & Scholarships– CNA training and schooling is 100% reimbursed if becoming a brand new CNA. Tuition Scholarships are given to CNAs, LPNs or RNs wanting to receive a higher nursing license.
  3. Free meals while at work– Due to the lockdown, employees are given a free meal in order to keep employees home expenses down.

Care & Rehab – News

Care & Rehab – Barron

Bikash Shakya, C.N.A.

Nursing Barron Wisconsin August 2020

My name is Bikash Shakya, I have worked here at Care & Rehab-Barron for 7 months. I work full time as a Certified Nursing Assistant, 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

What qualities make a skilled nursing facility exceptional? I think what makes a skilled nursing facility exceptional is we make our facility like home for our residents. I think this is the strongest point that makes it exceptional.

Tell me about a recent time when a patient/resident was pleased and appreciated your care. I don’t have any specific moment, but every day I work, all my residents are happy and are appreciative of the care I give to them.

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? From this career, I am receiving blessing and respect from my residents. Also my family and relatives are proud of me because we need a caring heart to take on this job.

Mary Samens, C.N.A.

Nursing Barron Wisconsin August

“My name is Mary Samens, but some co-workers and residents call me Cookie. I have worked for Care & Rehab-Barron for 31 years. It will be 32 years in September. I work full time as a Certified Nursing Assistant from 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

What qualities make a Skilled Nursing facility (Nurse, etc.) exceptional? I think what makes a skilled nursing facility exceptional is the good care employees give to our residents. Also I feel that residents have a lot to do here as we have lots of activities going on and that keeps our residents entertained which is great. They also have outings they get to enjoy and is something they can look forward to. I also want to mention that the administration/management team we have here is pretty great as they give credit to our hard work we do, which means a lot to me and my co-workers.

Tell me about a recent time when a patient/resident was pleased and appreciated your care? “A male patient/resident always tells me I do a good job. He likes that I take extra time with him and make sure he is taken care of well. He also stated that he enjoys my company. A female patient/resident always wants ME to be the one to care for her and tells me I do a good job. She always looks for me to see if I’m here, which is comforting.”

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? If I make a resident or a co-worker laugh, it makes my day. Also, I feel awesome when a resident gives me a compliment that I do a good job. It makes me want to stay and work longer.”

A Note on Technology :

Covid-19 changed the community’s use of technology. Care & Rehab-Barron community has spent a great deal learning how to use the different types of technology to talk with their loved ones. I feel like everyone had to LEARN quickly on how to do things with technology, especially the older adult population as they really didn’t use a lot of technology before, or so I’ve heard. In our Skilled Nursing Facility. The residents are happy that we have the technology we do so they can video chat with their families and friends. It has been really cool to see their smiling faces connecting with their families during this difficult time.

The families that live far away and can’t visit often or even family members that are sick and can’t visit will still set up times to video chat with their loved ones here at our facility, especially on special occasions like Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. It has been really nice getting to continue to connect with our residents families. I know the families are very appreciative that we are able to still connect in some way, even though it may not be a face to face visit.

Keytun Viltz, Activity Director

Care & Rehab – Boscobel

Josie Kriz , L.P.N.

Digital Camera

Josie Kriz has worked at Care & Rehab-Boscobel for 4.5 years. She started as a C.N.A. and recently earned her L.P.N. this June. Congratulations on this awesome accomplishment! Josie is currently working full time, filling in for another Nurse that is on maternity leave. Josie’s plan is to return to SWTC school in August to receive her RN degree while she still works at Care & Rehab-Boscobel.

What Qualities make a Nurse exceptional? You need to have a lot of patience, love, understanding, active listener and be able to be present to comfort the patients and residents. And teamwork from the Care & Rehab staff family is needed.

Tell me about a recent time when a patient/resident was pleased and appreciated your care? “I have had residents tell me that they don’t understand how I can do what I do, but they appreciate it very much. A resident told me, “It takes a special person to do what you do and to be a hard worker and that’s what you are.”

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career?I feel like I do make a difference in their lives. I love making them smile and giving them someone to talk to. Making friendships with the patients/residents and thier family members is my favorite thing. I love getting them to have a better quality of life.

Deb Jerrett , L.P.N. & M.D.S. Nurse

Care & Rehab-Boscobel

Deb Jerrett , L.P.N. & M.D.S.Nurse. I have worked at Care & Rehab-Boscobel for 43 years. My hours are Full Time Monday- Friday. I work mostly from my desk and computer, but help out on the floor as needed.

What qualities make a L.P.N./M.D.S. Nurse Exceptional? In order to do this job you have to care about others and understand that they depend on you to help them and provide for their needs.We are a small community; many of the short-term rehab patients and longer nursing need residents are a relative or a family friend. We are a close working family who strive to provide quality care both emotionally and physically. Especially now with Covid Restrictions, everyone is going above and beyond to keep residents interactive and finding creative ways to brighten their days. You can still see a smile behind the masks.

Tell me about a recent time when a patient/resident was pleased and appreciated your care? Recently I was asked to share family photos with a resident. It made her smile and she said, “Come back soon.” I knew how much she appreciated the time I took to show her my photos.

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? Knowing I have touched residents and family lives in a positive way, especially during these tough times of Covid. I have worked with many students and co-workers over the years and to hear them say I had an impact on their lives both personally and professionally is very rewarding.

Care & Rehab – Cumberland

Tonja Metnik, Activity Director

Nursing Cumberland Wisconsin August 2020

Tonja Metnik, Activity Director for Care & Rehab-Cumberland for 43 years. Typical working hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

What qualities make a Skilled Nursing Home Exceptional? I believe one of the best qualities that makes us an exceptional facility is the caring and treating residents like they are family. We get to know everyone and being from a rural area we know most of our residents in some way from the community.

Tell me about a Recent Time when a patient was pleased and appreciated your care? I feel appreciated daily, be it taking a resident out for a walk, taking an extra few minutes to sit & visit, repairing an item or replacing a watch battery, setting up new books on tapes, reading daily devotions, watering plants or picking fresh vegetables from the garden for them.

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? I believe the wisdom I have received from residents has been the most rewarding.

Wanda Thompson, R.N.

Nursing Cumberland Wisconsin August

Wanda Thompson, RN for Care & Rehab-Cumberland for 8 months. I work full-time on PM shift 1:45pm-10:15pm, but I am currently covering full-time on day shift, while a co-worker is out on medical leave.

What qualities make a Skilled Nursing Home Exceptional? The people who work there. Kind-hearted, compassionate, and skilled individuals working within their roles, committed to providing the highest standard of care. They all work together as a team to make sure residents needs are met.

Tell me about a Recent Time when a patient was pleased and appreciated your care? There are many times when a patient shows appreciation. Just by doing very simple things, I get a smile or a thank you. Just recently, I was asked to open a window shade for a resident. She stated that she just couldn’t do it herself. After doing so, she smiled, held my hand, and thanked me.

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? Knowing that I’m making a difference in someone’s life. Helping them maintain a quality of life with dignity. Felling like part of the family!

Tatjana Pankonien, C.N.A.

Nursing Cumberland Wisconsin

Tatjana Pankonien, CNA. I have worked for Care & Rehab 11 wonderful years. My typical hours during the week are Full-Time, Day shift.

What qualities make a CNA Exceptional? Qualities that make an exceptional CNA include: Patience, Compassion, and being Trustworthy.

Tell me about a Recent Time when a patient was pleased and appreciated your care? During this pandemic, I try my best to keep “normality” around. Setting hair is a necessity for most, resident’s show me great gratitude after I attempt to be their beautician.

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? “The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person” – Andy Rooney. I don’t consider them as rewards I’ve received, but intelligence and knowledge that they share with me.

Care & Rehab – Ladysmith

April Smith, C.N.A.

Care & Rehab - Ladysmith Nursing

April Smith, C.N.A. for Care & Rehab-Ladysmith for a little more than 1 year. April Started on Night Shift (NOC) then rotated between PM’s and NOC shifts. Now I am on Day Shift.

What qualities make a Skilled Nursing Home Exceptional?  A Smaller facility is more personalized. Short-term rehab patients & longer nursing needs residents know staff on a personal level. The quality of care and needs of each patient/resident are provided for better at a smaller facility.

Tell me about a Recent Time when a patient was pleased and appreciated your care? When patients/residents specially ask for you when it comes to their cares. They tell me they feel safe when I help them.

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? The compliments from the patients/residents and being able to be there for them when their family is unable too are both very rewarding.

Becky Gohde, BSN, RN-BC, RAC-CT, MDS/Care Plan Coordinator

Care & Rehab - Ladysmith Nursing

Becky Gohde, All credentials are listed above. Becky is always interested in knowing other credentials and experience. It gives her a better “feel” for things. Becky Celebrated her 32nd year work anniversary on July 5th. She has been a R.N. for 38 years and worked as a C.N.A. prior to becoming a R.N. Becky works 40 hours doing the MDS: record reviews, care plans, tracking staff down etc. Staff usually run the other way when they see her coming. If she needs to track them down, it often means she has questions.

What qualities make a Skilled Nursing Home Exceptional? Facility-wise, the first thing that comes to mind is cleanliness and nice smelling. I think most of us have gone in facilities that smelled so bad we couldn’t wait to get out! I can’t imagine being a patient/resident and /or family /visitor and having to deal with that on a daily basis. Is an experience that not often and easily forgotten.

Staff Wise is the people who come to work, leave their problems at home and in spite of all the challenges they face throughout the day, do their best to care for our patients and residents in an effort to help them feel safe, secure and loved.

Tell me about a Recent Time when a patient was pleased and appreciated your care? I cannot think of anything specific because I am not out doing personal cares, but I am out and about throughout the day and I am usually pretty good at making people laugh.

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career?Seeing the staff in our facility who really want to be here and who give so much of themselves. They choose to be here!

Alicia Lueloff, CNA, Business Office Manager, & Medtech

Wisconsin Nursing

Alicia Lueloff, from Activities, C.N.A., Medtech to Business Office. Alicia has worked for Care & Rehab-Ladysmith for 5 years. She has a lot of titles and can work in a lot of different roles. Alicia works as the Business office Manager, C.N.A., and a Medtech. A couple years ago you would have seen her in the Activity Department too. Her hours vary as you can imagine.

What qualities make a Skilled Nursing Home Exceptional? Relationships, Heart dedication, caring and of course Hard Work.

Tell me about a Recent Time when a patient was pleased and appreciated your care? There are so many to choose from. One resident, anytime I enter her room she smiles. Its the best feeling ever. They make me happy everyday.

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? Developing relationships with the patients and residents. Knowing I left work making at least one person smile!

Care & Rehab – Neillsville

Shelly Schultz, L.P.N.

Care and Rehab - Neillsville Nursing

Shelly Schultz, L.P.N. Shelly has worked for Care & Rehab-Neillsville for 2 years. Her typical hours are 40 hours a week, day shift, 5:15 a.m.-1:45 p.m.

What qualities make a skilled nursing home & a L.P.N.exceptional? A Good leader, and nurses that are compassionate, adaptable and are able to advocate for the patients and residents.

Tell me about a recent time when a patient was pleased and appreciated your care? I had to be off for 2 weeks unexpectedly and when I returned, I was pleased to see how many of my residents noticed I was gone and were worried for me. They told me how much they missed me. I realized then how important we are to our residents.

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? Knowing that at the end of the day I can go home and know I have helped so many people. You also get to form amazing relationships with your residents.

Joyce Fitzl, Rosell Atendido, Kathy Ludwiczak, Marie Heck, Sandy Knoff, Angie Kaczor

Care & Rehab - Neillsville Wisconsin nurses

Pictured above, All work from the nurses station and years of service listed: Joyce Fitzl, C.N.A. 25 years, Roselle Atendido, 3 months and new to the USA, Kathy Lucwiczak 6 years, Marie Heck 34 years, Sandy Knoff 15 years, Angie Kaczor 25 years.

Staff are gathered in the Main Dining room for morning report at 5:30 a.m. This daily meeting prior to working with our residents, is a great way to begin our day. The report is essential in letting staff know who may need special attention from us and also what can be expected during the shift. Another added benefit is that it is an opportunity for staff to greet each other at the beginning of the shift and enable us to begin work on a positive note.

Lisa, Administrator cutting hair.

Care & Rehab-Neillsville

Kathy, C.N.A. donated her talents of cutting hair.

Care & Rehab-Neillsville Wisconsin Hospice Nursing

A few Care & Rehab – Neillsville staff were able to share their talents by giving haircuts to our residents during this time of quarantine when we are unable to have our beautician come into the building. Unfortunately, our beautician also works at other facilities so she was unable to come back at this time. Lisa Cerven, our administrator and Kathy Linde, CNA offered to cut hair free of charge and they were immediately swamped with business. They left a trail of hair and smiles as they made their way through the halls, cutting hair and making pretty ladies beautiful. The residents are still comparing their haircuts and getting compliments from all the staff. I heard one resident say to another resident “I can’t believe I didn’t have to pay for such a nice haircut. My girl did such a good job. I think I’m going to let her do my hair next time too”.

– Jill Friemoth

Visitation opportunity -Janice Green, Mary Kipp & Lisa Cervan

Care & Rehab – Neillsville

We are happy to announce that Care & Rehab – Neillsville will be starting in-person visits with residents and their families. The visits will be structured according to the Wisconsin DHS guidelines to ensure the safety of the residents and their families. The visits are by appointment only to assure we are not having more than one family visit at a time and to enable staff to appropriately clean the area after each visit. Even though there will still be social distancing expectations with no physical contact and a pane of Plexiglass between the parties, there is excitement in the air as the residents eagerly await the time they will be able to talk to their loved ones face to face. We are all looking forward to this important step in reuniting residents with their loved ones.

Care & Rehab – Ostrander

Sara Ptacek, L.P.N.

Care & Rehab-Ostrander Nursing THE BEST SMILE!

Sara Ptacek, L.P.N.  I have worked for Care & Rehab-Ostrander for 4 months. My typical working hours are from 6 am-6 pm

What qualities make a Health Care Community Exceptional? Good staff

Tell me about a Recent Time when a patient was pleased and appreciated your care? A Resident was very appreciative and thankful for care they received

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? Smiles on residents faces.

Erica Garcia

Erica Garcia

Erica Garcia, C.N.A. I have worked for Care & Rehab for 3 months. My typical working hours are 6 am -2 pm

What qualities make a Skilled Nursing Home (Nurse etc.) Exceptional?Good working environment

Tell me about a Recent Time when a patient was pleased and appreciated your care? A Resident was very appreciative of care given

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career? Smiles on residents faces

Abby Hovey

Care & Rehab - Ostrander Minnesota Hospice

Abby Hovey, Culinary Cook, I have you worked for Care & Rehab for 7 months My typical hours during the week are 5am-630pm

What qualities make a Skilled Nursing Home (Nurse etc.) Exceptional?(Nurse) their kindness and care for the residents

Tell me about a Recent Time when a patient was pleased and appreciated your care?They compliment me on my food, making sure they are happy with their meals

What are the most important rewards you receive from your career?Residents smiles

Janice Howe, R.N., Administrator, holding up the Congratulations Letter

Janice Howe Care and Rehab Nurse

Care & Rehab – Ostrander is pleased to announce that we have been selected to receive a COVID-19 Courage Funds Grant from the Leading Age Minnesota Foundation (LAMF). This grant is in the amount of $10,000. All applicants were to submit a proposal indicating how they would utilize funds to benefit staff members who have worked so courageously and selflessly through the past months to care for patients and residents, ultimately putting themselves at risk. The money could not be used as bonuses or gift cards. Our team began evaluating what could help our employees. Stress is always a factor in our lives but during the CoVid 19 months, working in healthcare is a different kind of stress, a new kind of normal. At Care & Rehab – Ostrander, we designed a plan that would decrease the stress that our staff deals with in everyday life, in order to reward the courage and dedication they display in their work. “HEROES in Life” is the name of the program that was proposed. This is “Helping Employees Ride Out Everyday Storms in Life.” Through an application process, our employees will have the opportunity to have extra stresses and storms paid for through the program. For example, if an employee has a dead car battery, this program can help with that. If an employee needs to transport a parent to dialysis 3 X per week and has no money for gas, we can help with that. Even something simple as, “it’s 3 days to payday and I am out of diapers.” Yes, we can help with that. “It is an honor to have been chosen,” said Janice Howe. She went on to say, “It is so great, during difficult times, to find some way to make a real difference for our staff. We are humbled and grateful.”

We offer a home for all!

We are committed to providing an environment in which all people are treated with kindness, dignity and respect, no matter their physical impairment or mental condition.

Memory Care Support

Providing warm, familiar surroundings of home can play an important role in managing loved ones with Alzheimer’s memory care.  Offering a range of memory care services for individuals and families impacted by the disease.

Rehabilitation Therapy

We focus on helping our patients regain life skills and learn new ways to do tasks. Our comprehensive programs address each patient’s personal goals.

Patient/Family Education

Support through resources, training and educating family caregivers to deal with challenging behaviors. Providing techniques and coping strategies for loved ones to deal with challenging behaviors.

24hr Skilled Nursing

Focused on Improving or maintaining functional abilities, to help integrate healthy habits and safety awareness into developing positive independence.