As the world faces a pandemic of historic proportions, home care and hospice workers represent some of the most critical workers in our lives today. With the increased need to protect our loved ones, families across the nation are turning to in-home care and hospice services. In what has proven to be a challenging year for many, our home care and hospice workers have always shown incredible resilience, bravery, and support.
Now is our chance to say thank you…
November is designated as Home Care & Hospice Month a time to celebrate the nurses, therapists, aides, and other home care and hospice workers in an effort to highlight the remarkable work they perform while caring for their charges. Playing a definitive role in our healthcare system, home care and hospice workers have become the unsung heroes that provide our loved ones with the care and support they need when they are at their most vulnerable.
Jessica White, an RN for Paradise Home Care, A Care Advantage, Inc company, is very passionate about Home Care and has been in their industry over 18 years. “Home care is not for everyone, but I have never seen myself doing anything but helping people in their home. I have been a home health clinician since 2002 initially as a Physical Therapist Assistant then, while working, I felt that I could help the patients even more by furthering my education and completing my nursing degree which I finished in 2007”.
LIVING TO CARE FOR OTHERS
Home care and hospice workers have the gift of adapting to each patient's particular circumstances and the home environment. A patient's home is essentially an extension of their personality. Home care and hospice workers know how to adapt the way they deliver information and provide a type of care that is as unique as the person who is receiving it.
“I have a passion for teaching and learning and this is very important as a home health care provider. I’ve actually had patients tell me that I’ve provided them with more information than their medical providers which makes my heart happy. The individualized approach we take in this type of care is something that is always appreciated by patients and clients” says Jessica.
They spend their lives caring for others, providing comfort and support in times in which it's needed the most. Home care and hospice workers can help bed-ridden and mobility-impaired patients recover with dignity and, when necessary, can assist with tasks such as the following:
• Personal Care
• Meal Preparation
• Toileting and Incontinence Care
• Medication Reminders
• Accompaniment to Medical Appointments
• Transportation, Shopping and Errands
Additionally, they serve as companions that help ward off the feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and much more by assisting their patients in the following areas:
• Conversation and Company
• Emotional Support
• Engagement in Social and Outdoor Activities
• Promoting Overall Health
In most cases, the caregiver’s presence becomes so important to their patients and their families that they also become something akin to a good friend or family member rather than a nurse or other type of home care aide.
In the case of skilled home health services, it is a very similar story.
Jessica White says, "There’s a lot that goes on in the background of an actual visit and I think it takes special people to manage their case load and schedule, complete documentation, make phone calls to doctors and family members while balancing that with life outside of work. There is often worrying about patients that are in “not the best situations” whether it’s the family dynamics, environment, financial difficulties or overall loneliness.
I have developed some wonderful relationships over the years, heard amazing stories, laughed, shed some tears, assisted in transition to hospice and Even some unexpected loss that has truly hurt my heart.”
SETTING THEIR LIFE TO THE SIDE
Home care and hospice workers stand out for one major reason, and that is the fact that they willingly set their personal lives aside in order to bring life and love to those who need them. To these heroes, the needs of their patients come before anything else. They understand the importance of the work they perform, and they know they can make a difference that can last a lifetime or longer. “Fun fact I’m dually licensed in the state of Virginia which I am proud to have accomplished and was able to do so with support of my family and friends while raising two children,” mentions Jessica.
This is what defines the caretakers at Care Advantage, Inc. Each one of our caregivers has the dream of building a career in home care. For many caregivers, nurses and therapists, working in home care or home health is a calling. This is just one of the reasons they put their heart and soul into providing the support their clients or patients need, and why they deserve to be celebrated during the month of November.
Yes it can be exhausting and there have been some frustrations along the way, but I like to think I’ve made a difference in a lot of lives and situations with goals being set and working together as a team! To me, there is nothing more rewarding than helping overcome obstacles, assisting with managing medical issues and patients remaining at home as we age in place.
CELEBRATING ALL HOME CARE AND HOSPICE WORKERS
As the rest of the world steps back, our health care workers are rushing forward to dedicate their time to working with others. In a time of uncertainty, they remain strong. In a time of concern, they put others before themselves. Let us celebrate the effort they put into making our loved ones more comfortable while improving the quality of their lives by helping them regain their dignity and sense of well-being.
All of this and so much more is what turns home care and hospice workers into the unsung heroes that fill our communities with love and empathy, especially during these troubling times. The time has come to celebrate this noblest profession by recognizing the love and effort they put into making not only their patients' lives better but also the lives of the families that have to live the experience at a more personal level.
To all of the home care and hospice workers sacrificing so much to save so many, words do not do enough justice - we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.