Services
Referrals
Donations
Caregivers
Jobs
Consult
Hospice
Seniors
About Us

You are planning to bring your family member or friend home from the hospital. Now what?

Is home health care an option?

Talk to the physician or the discharge planner at the hospital. Home health care is appropriate if the recovering person needs the attention of a clinician for assessment, treatment, teaching, or connections to community resources.

Or call us directly at
978-459-9343 or 800-349-8585
to discuss our services.

Is your home ready?

Safety check

  • Tape emergency phone numbers near the phone.
  • Create a list of all medications, dosages and frequencies.
  • Remove or repair potential hazards such as dim lighting, insecure railings, slippery surfaces, scatter rugs.

Helpful supplies

One or more of these may be helpful, depending on the patient's condition and the home environment:

  • Bathroom grab bars
  • Bathtub nonskid decals
  • Over-the-toilet commode
  • Shower chair (with a back and adjustable seat)
  • Properly fitted cane or walker
  • Cordless phone
  • Hand-held shower
  • Pill box dispenser
  • Thermos
  • Night lights
  • Hand-held shower
  • Bandages/wound dressing supplies

Keep it clean

* WASH YOUR HANDS, thoroughly and with warm/hot water, before and after patient care. This is the NUMBER ONE way to avoid infection!

* Put soiled wound dressing supplies in a heavy plastic bag, spray with a disinfectant spray, or sprinkle diluted chlorine bleach over the dressings, before closing the bag.

* Launder clothing, bedding, towels and cloths in hot water with detergent, using bleach whenever possible. Launder items which are used for food preparation separately from clothing and bedlinens.

* Use disposable cleaning cloths or disinfect fabric cloths after each use -- wash in washing machine using hot water, or in dishwasher.

* Frequently disinfect bathroom fixtures, doorknobs, appliance handles, phone, cleaning sponges, etc.

* Prevent food-borne illnesses by storing and preparing food supplies properly to avoid spoilage or contamination. Cook meats, poultry, fish and eggs completely; keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold; wash hands frequently; do not allow cooked foods to come into contact with uncooked foods; disinfect utensils, cutting boards, cloths and counters.

* Make sure pets are immunized. Avoid housing or feeding them in the kitchen; do not wash cages or tanks in the kitchen sink. Clean up pet living areas daily. Disinfect pet feeding utensils and floor surfaces frequently. Wash hands after handling pets or pet objects.

* Reduce airborne contamination by good ventilation throughout the house, removing mold or mildew, and regularly cleaning surfaces.

* Think "heat" and "dry" when considering home hygiene. Bacteria grow most rapidly on wet surfaces and cloths.

Are you ready?

Simple changes make a big difference -

* Make sure you have all the appointments, phone numbers, prescriptions, bandage supplies, written discharge instructions when the patient leaves the hospital.

* Keep one large notebook at home for recording telephone numbers, questions, answers, resources, medications, appointments. This will help you to keep all caregiving information in one place and to track changes over time.

* Use equipment and convenience services to your advantage - home medical supplies, cordless phone, timers, clothes with velcro fastenings, frozen meals, delivery services.

* Set up the home environment in a way that is most convenient for you and for the patient. Think simplicity, safety, cleanliness.

 

For caregivers: taking care of yourself, too --

* Take breaks from caregiving - ask for help from other family and friends.

* When others ask what they can do to help, tell them! Suggest practical help such as laundry, meal preparation, shopping, errands, social visits with the patient.

* Keep priorities in mind. Do not expect things to be "perfect." You will not be able to do everything that you did before taking on the caregiver role.

* If your caregiving will be longer term, participate in a local support group and share concerns and suggestions with other caregivers.

* Check out other community resources that may be helpful to the patient and to you (Councils on Aging, Meals on Wheels, cleaning services, adult day health, disease-specific associations, faith communities, etc.)

* Remember that unless incompetent, the patient -- not you -- has ultimate responsibility for his/her decisions.

Back to top

Services
Referrals
Donations
Caregivers
Jobs
Consult
Hospice
Seniors
About Us