January 24, 2022

Home Care Team Helps Patient Get Back on Her Feet

Granite VNA offers a wide range of homecare services, including wound care, postsurgical services, and home safety and falls risk evaluations. Earlier in the year, our homecare team provided these services and more to Paula, of Concord.

“I had complex foot surgery on February 2, 2021,” Paula said. “Prior to the surgery, I basically couldn’t bear weight on my left foot or walk without pain.”

Paula suffered from significant joint space narrowing, as well as a foot deformity. The constant pain in her foot limited her ability to walk, stand for any length of time, climb stairs, and to walk on the beach, one of her favorite things to do. “If I couldn’t get a parking space close to stores and restaurants, I could not go in,” she said.

By decreasing the risk of falling in the home, the likelihood of a timelier recovery post-surgery increases. Days before Paula’s surgery, Alison, a Granite VNA occupational therapist, conducted a home safety and falls
risk evaluation. She looked at many aspects of Paula’s home that could trigger a fall, such as scatter rugs, a bathroom without grab bars, and stairs without handrails. The assessment helped ensure that Paula’s home would be safe for her recovery.

A Difficult Recovery
When Paula returned home post-surgery, she required in-home nursing and physical therapy services. Unfortunately, Paula developed necrotic tissue in her surgical wound that stretched across her entire foot, which impeded healing and slowed her recovery. Necrotic tissue is dead or devitalized tissue that must be removed. Granite VNA staff worked closely with Paula, her caregivers, and the staff at Concord Hospital Wound and Hyperbaric Center to help Paula navigate this challenging time.

“The Granite VNA staff helped me when I was in immense pain post-surgery,” Paula said. “I was in a new cast every two weeks due to the necrotic wound.”

Our home care team helped Paula manage her medication and recommended frequent icing and elevation of her foot to help manage the pain. Nurses cleaned her wound and applied medication and bandages regularly.
Physical therapists and occupational therapists also monitored the status of Paula’s wound to ensure that infection did not set in.

“The wound alone required more than eight months of care,” Paula said. “The Granite VNA home care staff paced my activities so that I would not overdo it and increase my pain level. They encouraged me to move as much as possible with my walker. With physical therapy, I continued to progress my range and mobility. I kept my spirits up for about six months but became discouraged because progress was so slow.”

Providing information, support and constant encouragement is key to helping home care patients such as Paula maintain a positive outlook, despite setbacks, through the healing process. “I experienced complication after complication and it was wonderful to have my team’s guidance,” Paula said. 

Paula is still recovering and has some limitations. “My wound is still not 100% healed,” she said. “It is very small, though. Thanks to Granite VNA for showing me how to care for my wound, I am now caring for it myself. I can walk up to two miles now and I remain hopeful that my foot will continue to improve.”

“It has been a much longer road than I ever imagined it would be,” she added. “I have come a long way thanks to Granite VNA staff, or what I call ‘my Granite VNA family.’ I’m glad I’m well enough that I don’t require their services anymore, but I am sad that I don’t get to see their friendly faces anymore.” 

Read more stories in our Annual Report to Our Community