eNewsChannels: caregiving

ENKA, N.C. /eNewsChannels/ — NEWS: What happens when an aging individual needs more in-home care than Medicare or insurance provides? The recent addition of licensed nursing services by Mountain Home Care addresses the existing and widening gap between patient needs and the amount of skilled care insurance providers cover.

The addition of a professional nurse to a family’s care giving efforts can make all the difference in managing the demands of in-home care, according to Lana Wilde, owner of Mountain Home Care. The addition of nursing services adds depth to the licensed service provider’s ability to provide quality professional services at home, where clients feel safest and happiest.

“We know this is a way to help some individuals stay in their homes and live independently for a longer period of time,” she says. “We support that effort.”

In 1997, the Institute of Medicine released a landmark report, suggesting elders do not receive the care they need, calling for reform. In 2011, the IOM issued a benchmark survey, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” identifying “significant gaps in care” across nursing settings. Most recently, a 2014 research group found those gaps were widening, identifying what patients need most: support care from trained caregivers.

Since opening its doors more than 12 years ago, Mountain Home Care has always maintained registered nurses to perform assessments and to be on-call at all times. Today, in-home nursing services are a welcome addition to its client care-giving options, and are provided under a doctor’s written order. The referring physician also supervises the nurses and gives directions for their patients, says Wilde.

“This allows us to help the client who is no longer eligible for home health care under their insurance, yet who remains unable to provide for their needs on their own,” says Lesley Bratro, registered nurse and agency director.

For example, an individual with a wound that is progressively healing may find that Medicare won’t cover costs for someone to come to their home to do a simple dressing, even if they cannot do it themselves.

“Who is going to do that for them?” asks Bratro. “We can now help them with that.”

Similarly, an individual whose medication needs were formerly met by a home health provider may find themselves without assistance when their home health care benefits are no longer in effect. By comparison, the Mountain Home Care client who receives nursing services will be able to ask their nurse to fill medication organizers, monitor for errors, and make certain medications are taken on time and correctly. These measures add up to reduced risk for emergency room visits, especially for elderly patients.

“Many family caregivers also have jobs or children making it difficult for them to be with a loved one as often as needed,” says Wilde. “Knowing a well-qualified professional is handling those types of details takes worry away and provides peace of mind for the family.”

As the health care community and services change to meet current needs, increasing amounts of care is required to be done at home by nurses, says Wilde, who sees nurses as leaders in the “continuum of care” clients deserve.

“We’re not trying to take the place of home health care. We can’t. But we can fill the gap they cannot.”

Since 2003, Mountain Home Care, Arden, remains the leading provider of private home care, geriatric care management and skilled nursing services in western North Carolina. Download your copy of the free “Home Care Guide” at .

* Photo caption: Lesley Bratro, R.N., Mountain Home Care director of nursing

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