January 29, 2021

Home Care Makes a Difference

Home Care makes a difference to patients and their families in many ways, such as helping manage their chronic condition, assist with medication changes, provide intravenous medications and nutrition, treat wounds, and attend to post-surgical needs. Mary, of Concord, is one community member who has benefited from our services in the past and present.  
“The first time I saw Kathy [Wyle, a homecare physical therapist] was after my knee replacement,” Mary said. “I was a serious hiker for many years. I hiked in England and Scotland, and I belonged to a group called the Mountain Goats. I was somewhere outdoors every Thursday for about 25 years.” 
“This time, I am seeing Kathy and Jason [Edwards, a homecare registered nurse] for vertigo,” she added.  
Falls Prevention 
Vertigo can make people feel off-balance, which may cause someone to fall. One in every four adults aged 65 or over fall, but measures can be taken to help prevent falls. 
“This past year, I had two major falls and Kathy showed me how to use a walker and taught me exercises to help prevent falls,” said Mary. “My OT Alison [Thompson] taught me where to put dishes away so I don’t have to reach too far. She also recommended that I get rid of the scatter rugs and get a stool for the bathtub, too.”  
Providing information on how to manage individual needs is a critical component of our homecare program. In Mary’s case, fall prevention techniques can help reduce fall risks and help her remain living independently at home.  
As part of falls education, clinicians discuss decreasing the risk of falling, including using adequate lighting, wearing footwear with traction, and continuing to move every so often and not sitting for hours at a time. They also talk about not being fearful of going somewhere due to the fear of falling.  
With the assistance and education from the homecare staff, Mary has incorporated regular exercise into her routine. “He’s [Jason Edwards, RN] done a lot of nice things for me,” she said. “He has really educated me.” 
Mary, who will turn 100 in February, was recently discharged and receives homemaking services from Concord Regional VNA once a month. 
Personal Protective Equipment 
All of our direct care staff members, including Jason and Kathy who are pictured in the photo with Mary, take measures to help keep themselves and their patients and families as safe and healthy as possible. Our staff continues to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NH Department of Health & Human Services (NHDHHS) guidelines around COVID-19.  
Clinicians have added precautions and screenings into their daily work, and participate in telehealth visits with patients and their physicians. Some of our patients have been tested in their homes for COVID-19 by our staff members. When treating patients who test positive for the virus, clinicians don and doff Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in doorways before and after each visit.  
The progression of COVID-19 continues to evolve and we strongly encourage everyone to continue to wear a mask, practice physical (social) distancing, and to regularly wash your hands.