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Providing Care During COVID-19

Elderly woman talking with a doctor while holding hands at home and wearing face protective mask. Worried senior woman talking to her general pratictioner visiting her at home during virus epidemic. Doctor explaining about precautionary measures during virus pandemic to old lady and takes care of her.

Hailing from New Jersey, Naomi Lane is a snowbird who has a love of travel and like most, had plans to travel abroad this year. But also, like everyone else, her plans were derailed by COVID-19. “I was supposed to travel to Japan this summer,” Naomi chuckled. “The pandemic changed a lot.”

Life also took an additional unexpected turn when she became ill and went to the hospital. It was there she discovered she was positive for COVID-19. Naomi remained in the hospital for 16 days while being treated for her COVID-19 symptoms.

Because of testing positive for coronavirus, being discharged from the hospital posed its challenges. A social worker explained that home health care could provide her with the care she needed in the safety and comfort of home. Naomi smiled and said, “My son talked to the social worker and we decided home health care was the best choice.” They chose VNA.

While at home, Naomi’s blood pressure was unstable, so her care plan included regular nurse visits and telehealth. The visiting nurse followed all the safety guidelines always wearing a mask and examination gloves. The VNA nurse was able to coordinate her blood pressure medication with the physician and taught Naomi breathing and relaxation techniques. Naomi was anxious about her COVID-19 diagnosis, and the education that the nurse provided gave her tools to help ease her concerns.

In addition to her regular nursing visits, Naomi’s care plan included telehealth. Through the telehealth program, patients have a device which monitors vitals and other health information every day. That information is transmitted back to VNA offices where it is evaluated and monitored.

Through the telehealth program, patients can receive further support througheducational videos. For patients like Naomi who was having difficulty stabilizing her blood pressure, telehealth allowed for extended oversight on her condition.

“I was so thankful. Nurses visited weekly and I had someone to talk to in the middle of the night when I was frightened and sick. The whole experience was reassuring knowing support was always available to me,” reflected Naomi. “Once I met the nurses and learned how VNA really cared about me, I realized everything would be ok. VNA was a life saver. I was so glad to receive such good care at home.”

Leveraging the telehealth program is just one of the ways VNA was able to provide care to COVID-19 patients. Telehealth permits VNA to provide continuity of care for COVID-19 patients with limited exposure, ensuring the safety of staff and patients. Through telemonitoring, VNA caregivers can monitor a patient’s health and address potential problems before a health crisis occurs and reducing unnecessary hospital visits.

Amid COVID-19, Naomi still received the highest quality home health care she needed. “This type of care doesn’t happen by accident,” she noted. She attributes her well-being to commitment, excellent communication, education and a collaborative team including her doctor.

A champion and cheerleader for individuals taking accountability for their health, Naomi discussed how VNA education empowers its patients, “When patients do their part, they get better. Having VNA reminds me of the mantra I have engrained into the hearts and minds of my family.”

 

Good, better, best

Never let it rest

Until the good is better

And the better is best

~Naomi Lane

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