As you may already know, I love home care and many of the people who provide it. When someone describes me as “a friend to home care” I am especially delighted because that is who I want to be! I love home care for both personal and professional reasons.
Personally, our family has received home care services. I was a home care patient. My husband’s mother and grandmother received hospice care. My mother received Medicare-certified home health services. Both of our mothers received private duty home care, sometimes for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. HME suppliers played a key role, too. Home care saved our family!
Professionally, I have had the honor of working with some highly capable, caring, committed members of the home care community on complex issues that matter. Who can ask for more?
We are now facing a difficult time in the home care industry. Staff members are likely to be on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus. They may, in fact, be the most vulnerable. They are valiant. We are grateful.
At the same time, I know that the home care industry can do it! We have done very hard things over many years and we can fight this battle, too. We can do it, in part, because of the great spirit in the industry. Some of you may recall an account of what I call “the true spirit of home care,” as follows:
A home health aide in Maine visited a patient in the dead of winter. The main room of the patient’s home was heated by a wood stove while the doors to the remainder of the rooms were closed, including the door to the only bathroom. The aide prepared to give the patient a bath. When she entered the bathroom, she found a dead bear in the bathtub. This was not surprising to her because she knew that the bear was likely a source of food for the patient and family during the winter. But how was she going to give the patient a bath with a bear in the only bathtub?
The aide had a Hoyer lift that she used for the patient and quickly realized that she could use the lift for the bear, too. So, she used the lift to remove the bear from the bathtub and move the patient into and out of the bathtub. Then she used the lift again to put the bear back in the bathtub where it “belonged.”
And this, my friends, is part of the true spirit of home care! It’s that “can do” attitude that says we will do whatever is necessary to meet the needs of our patients. “Whatever it takes” could be the motto of many home care providers and it is what will carry us through this crisis, too.
Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.