The first Laotian-owned home health care and adult day care provider in the state will open soon in Brooklyn Park.
Phinsaykeo Souriyathay, co-owner of Heartfelt Home Health Care, not only works with aging folks to provide for their health and day care needs, but also will teach Laotian children about their native cultural practices.
Students in the class will learn about Laotian dance, food, religion, language and other historical and cultural practices, Souriyathay said. Classes are 2.5 hours long on weekends, she said. Approximately 30-40 children will be part of the class.
“This is a comprehensive Lao learning and culture [program],” Souriyathay said.
One program goal is to have the children eventually become bilingual, said Banlang Phommasouvanh, an adviser for the program.
District 36 Sen. John Hoffman (D-Champlin) is also an adviser for the education program. He said he got involved because of his school board and education work.
“When I talk to the elders, and they say that third generation, it’s like anybody who comes over to America, the third generation is kind of [not retaining the culture],” he said. “There was a couple generations before you that was [passing on] the oral traditions.”
“I think it’s important that people understand, you know, I know nothing about my Russian background,” he said. It is important to retain those unique traditions and pass them onto another generation, he added.
Understanding a shared heritage can help with “knowing your past and how that relates to the present and the future,” Hoffman said.
Heartfelt Home Healthcare will offer a number of services for seniors and others in need of daytime help.
The facility has a hair salon, so seniors don’t need to make a second trip to get their hair cut.
Between meals, visitors receive a massage, and then exercise, Souriyathay said. The massages “get their body invigorated, and fluid starts moving, and increased endurance,” she said. In total, visitors get approximately 20 minutes worth of massage time. For someone with diabetes, they offer a special warm foot massage, she said.
Heartfelt offers other services for visitors, such as stretching, waxing, back-stepping, microdermabrasion, hot stone and hot towel treatments, and facials.
Customers can also purchase healthy food options, such as smoothies while at Heartfelt. Typically, visitors begin their morning with a dose of vitamin supplements, Souriyathay said
Heartfelt has a vehicle to pick up or drop off those who cannot drive to the facilities.
Contact Kevin Miller at [email protected]