The best caregivers in the home health care field are nurses. They have the most medical training and the highest level of expertise. Nurses frequently come to the rescue when a patient is in critical need. They can make the difference between life and death, especially in a home setting.

Many elderly, frail clients fend for themselves or make do with help from family. Unfortunately, medical mistakes and incorrect choices can easily occur among families, in spite of the best of intentions. It is a very good idea to have a home health care nurse stop by and check on you or your loved one periodically throughout your period of illness or convalescence. Nurses evaluate problems objectively and make suggestions based on medical expertise. Nurses can spot a potential problem and implement a corrective plan of care.

Sometimes you really need a nurse’s help! An elderly lady recently came home from the hospital – with several changes in medications (that her real doctors didn’t know about) and a new diagnosis of congestive heart failure with severe edema in both legs. She couldn’t get out of bed and her TED hose no longer fit her tremendously swollen legs. On top of that, she continued to eat lots of salt and sugar in her food, even though she was diabetic. She was sent home with only a live-in aide, because she was alert and she thought that was good enough. YIKES! The good news is that a nurse did go out to assess this lady and did uncover all of the problems just described. The nurse communicated the medication changes with all of the lady’s current physicians and made follow up appointments with these doctors. The nurse arranged for new measurements of the swollen legs and ordered the correct size of TED stockings. The nurse arranged for a blood sugar monitoring system and instructed the client on the necessity of a low salt and low sugar diet. Without this skilled nursing intervention, this lady would have landed back in the hospital very quickly, and possibly would not have lived.

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