The Benefits of Home Health Care: One Family’s Story

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Home health care after a stroke
Published:  March 20, 2023

* To protect the privacy of individuals in this article, the names and identifying details have been changed.

As a retiree, Marge Lee wasn’t one to spend her day puttering around—she was busy living a full and active life. Though previous strokes had slowed her down, they were a temporary speed bump. She’d fully recovered, and she and her husband, Bob, still lived in their own home.

In 2021, however, Marge was working around the house, getting ready for a visit from her out-of-town son. Her daughter Sarah, who lives next door, stopped in to check on them and then left to run errands. But she wasn’t gone long before her dad called.

“He said something was wrong with my mother, and I needed to come home right away,” Sarah recalls.

When Sarah returned, she found a different version of her active, healthy mom. “She was confused, not speaking clearly, and had excruciating head pain,” Sarah shared. “She also left water running and the refrigerator door open, so I knew something wasn’t right,” Sarah called 911, and Marge was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

A stroke leaves its impact

An MRI revealed Marge had experienced a massive stroke. Physically, it left her with balance issues and an unsteady, shuffling walk. The stroke also affected Marge’s cognitive skills, making reasoning and processing tasks difficult. That meant that, after leaving the hospital, it would be challenging for Marge to do everyday things to care for herself and their home, such as bathing, dressing, and preparing meals.

Marge wanted to go home but knew she needed more care than her husband and daughter, who worked full time, could provide. But with more than 30 years of experience working in the home health care field, Sarah knew home health care was the answer they were looking for. After all, she’d seen first-hand how it helped hundreds of families fill a caregiving gap, prevent or slow decline, and allow people to be home where they’re more comfortable.

Medical care comes to Marge

Within days of being released from the hospital, Tara Moore, LVN, a Traditions Health nurse, had her first of what has become weekly visits with Marge. During her visits, Tara would provide the same type of medical assessment Marge would have in a doctor’s office, including checking Marge’s blood pressure, pulse, breathing, and weight. Then, they simply talk. Tara wants to hear how Marge’s week has been and find out if Marge has experienced things such as pain, falls, or confusion.

A weekly assessment allows Tara the opportunity to see if there are any changes from the week before. If so, she can determine what needs to be done to prevent a decline in Marge’s condition.

“There’s peace in knowing Tara’s coming each week,” Sarah says. “Having a medical professional laying eyes on Mom and assessing her current health will help catch things we wouldn’t.”

For instance, when Tara suspected Marge had a urinary tract infection, she took a sample to the doctor’s office for testing, so Marge didn’t have to make the trip. Tara also followed through to make sure Marge got the medication she needed.

In addition to the medical oversight, Marge also has daily companion care to help with day-to-day tasks around the house.

Home health means “peace of mind”

Sarah says her mom and Tara have developed a special relationship.

“Mom looks forward to seeing Tara and chatting with her,” Sarah says. “And she listens to Tara in a way she wouldn’t listen to my brothers and me.”

For Sarah, having home health care—and Tara as part of her mom’s care team—means peace of mind.

“My dad gets to be a husband, and I get to be a daughter instead of being a primary caregiver. I go to bed at night peacefully, knowing if something’s going on, Targa is going to see it.”

Sarah knows that whether her mom gets better and no longer needs home health care or declines and needs palliative or hospice care, Tara will be by their side. And if Marge’s care needs change, Sarah knows having palliative and hospice services available through Traditions Health will help make the transition smooth.

“Between caring for aging parents and tending to kids that are still at home, life can feel pretty overwhelming,” Sarah says. “But having Traditions Health as a partner in my mother’s care makes it so much easier.”

To learn more or to speak with a Traditions Health representative, click the Request Care button below.

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