For most people, home care is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind segment of our health care system. But for home care patients, it can be a lifeline.
Mary Adams has received care in her Van Wert home off and on for eight years to help her manage several chronic health issues. This summer, Adams says, her home care nurses may have saved her life.
Last month Adams’ nurse from CHP Home Care & Hospice came to the house to perform a routine nursing visit. The nurse noticed that her blood pressure and heart rate were abnormally low, which lead to doctor’s orders for blood tests. A nurse performed the blood draw in the home and the results from the lab were alarming.
“The nurse called and told me to call 9-1-1 and get to the ER immediately,” Adams said. “I didn’t feel bad or have any symptoms, but my potassium level was critically low. They saved my life!”
Adams was taken to the hospital and then discharged to a nursing facility. She is back home now with home health services.
Nurses come to the home to regularly check vital signs, setup her medications in a pill box, provide wound care and dressing changes, and to help her manage diabetes. Home care aides help in the home with things like cleaning and groceries. She also has a medical alert system through CHP.
“I like being at home with my dogs,” Adams said, “and I couldn’t do that without the nurses and aides from CHP.”
To help her better manage her diabetes, Adams’ doctor recently prescribed a continuous glucose monitor, which is inserted in the back of the arm every couple of weeks and eliminates finger sticks.
“I didn’t like to check my blood sugar because of the pain and it was difficult to do,” Adams said. “Now I can check it anytime with my monitor and I don’t have to poke myself anymore.”
Most importantly since starting on the monitor, she has stayed in compliance with her diabetes care plan, takes fewer pills, and made some modifications to her diet.
“Our mission is to help patients to live as independently as possible at home by improving health, managing illness or injury, and helping them reach their goals,” said Cindy Sinning, RN, nursing supervisor for CHP Home Care & Hospice of Van Wert. “Through a variety of services, we’re helping Mary accomplish all of these.”