Home Health for Bill Groethe

Bill Groethe, the renowned photographer of the Black Hills, needs our help. The pandemic has been very hard on him, with First Photo getting closed down and him sitting at home more, he became weaker and began falling more in August. After three consecutive falls, he is struggling to get stronger and is frustrated that he is not been able to work at doing what he loves at this time.  Bill and Alice have given so much, it’s the least we can do to try to give him all the care he needs. He is in a hospital bed 24/7, and has limited mobility at this time. 


About a month ago, Bill went to the hospital. After about a week, he was placed in a care facility for rehab for his arm. He stayed there for two weeks, but we needed to get him home for a variety of reasons, including an injury he sustained there, staffing shortages, lack of care, and Covid concerns. He has been improving at home for over two weeks now, but home health care brings other challenges. His insurance covers 3-5 visits a week from home health care professionals, and that has been incredibly helpful. However, we want to have more help for better outcomes and more sustainable care. 

Bill needs to have 1-2 adults with him at all times for caretaking, and because of the vast variety of his needs, it would be ideal if at least one of those people was a professional nurse or aid. The primary assistance needed is for turning him every two to four hours. So far, we have been doing this with family, but his medical needs are vast at this time. Private nurse rates in Rapid City, South Dakota for the type of shift he would need are at $33-40/hr, and we would need a minimum of 16 hours a week of support. This means that the cost per month would be around $2,560 at minimum. 

The more support, the better. Ideally, we would like to have a professional in the house at least 4-8 hours a day, which would mean a weekly cost of $800-1600 a week and $6,400 Bill would also like to be able to pay all of the wonderful folks and family who have been volunteering to sit with Bill, help lift Bill, and take care of him and Alice, including family members who have postponed jobs or who are not working in order to take care of him. We  have also been purchasing thousands of dollars of medical supplies over the past four months, which is adding up quickly. A fan and customer of Bill suggested doing a fundraising campaign that we have determined to start this Gofundme for Bill’s care. Our goal is to fundraise enough to cover costs for at least 3 months of medical assistance for Bill, which will range from $7,680 at the low end and $19,200 at the high end. Although we will be shooting for the higher goal, any amount raised will be utilized for keeping Bill safe, happy, and healthy. We want to make sure that he is receiving the care he needs so that he can keep getting stronger!  

A little bit of background on Bill’s medical state for those who want more information; TDLR:

Eating is a difficult task for Bill, and he has struggled the past 5 years with his bone spur swallowing issue. He is currently in a very weakened state and may be getting a feeding tube if he will agree to it. He cannot see or hear well anymore, has injured shoulders and is healing from a few falls in August and September, and he still has his shingles and bone spur swallowing issues. He has not walked for a while now, cannot roll over on his own either, and we want him to get even more professional attention so that he can improve his quality of life and so that we can have help lifting and moving him (at least 3 of his 5 primary helpers are also disabled or have spinal injuries, most of us trying to schedule our visits around our full and part time employment). We need someone to be here with him at all times, and there are aid services to help support him and Alice when there is a gap in the family shift availability. We have also found a service that can help lift and turn him with us to avoid further injury and to help give us some relief as well. 

When we move him to roll him over, it takes at least 2-3 people. Needless to say, the more helpers we can have, the better care and quality of life will be possible for him. He still talks about wanting to get the business up and running again and he still wants to sell prints out of his house eventually. His determination is something that has kept him going for 97 years. A few days ago he told me that he was planning to be around for at least another 3-5 years. He has a formidable will, so if anyone can get through this time, it’s Grandpa Bill. We would like him to receive the care he deserves, and the type of attention he has given to the Black Hills community over the years. Family will remain the primary source of care, but right now it’s all hands on deck to get him stronger and keep him comfortable. 


We will be sending out thank you gifts to folks who donate 10 dollars or more ( please include your address). 

If you donate 50 dollars or more (domestic), or 70 dollars or more (outside the US) you will also be sent a commemorative t-shirt with a quote from Bill about his photography career designed by JAC of Designthird (a family friend and fan of Bill's work). Design preview below printed on an eco-friendly t-shirt from the company Print Natural . With a donation of 200 dollars, you will receive both a T-shirt and a hand-written thank you note. Donations of $500 dollars or more will receive a small print, a T-shirt, a sticker, a postcard sized print of JAC's art design, and a hand-written thank you note from our family.  Gifts of $1,000 or more will include a higher value print from Bill, a shirt, a small personal gift, and a videotaped thank you from our family. Please include a T-Shirt size preference in your donation. 


Thank you for helping Bill get comfortable and stay safe and healthy at home! 

Please share or donate if you are able to. 


Bill’s family


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  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 1 hr
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 1 hr
  • Clayton Beverly 
    • $36 
    • 1 hr
  • Thomas A Groethe 
    • $300 
    • 2 hrs
  • Sue Skovran 
    • $50 
    • 2 hrs
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Ella Badella Pemb 
Rapid City, SD
Hannah Mincks 
Team member
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