Home Care Services
Healing at Home: Simi Valley Hospital Service Gives Patients Option to Recover at Home
|Adventist Health/Home Care Services nurse Eileen Tondreau, RN, BSN, shares a moment of merriment with a patient during a home visit.
Hospital stays today are typically much shorter than they were even a few years ago. For the most part, that is a positive fact, the result of new technology and techniques that make healthcare more efficient and less invasive.
Sometimes, however, recently discharged patients need additional skilled nursing help to make the transition from hospital to home. Adventist Health/Home Care Services at Simi Valley Hospital is here to help patients and their caregivers take that important step with confidence.
“If there is one main theme in home care, it is ‘We are here to help you learn how to take care of yourself,’” said Susan Myers, director of Adventist Health/Home Care Services. “People come home after surgery or after having had a stroke or being diagnosed with diabetes or cancer, and they haven’t been in the hospital long enough to learn how to do all the new things they need to do to heal properly or to adapt to their new circumstances.”
Recently discharged patients may, for example, need to have wound dressings changed or they may need to be on an IV or on TPN (nutrition through an intravenous line). Following surgery or a stroke, patients may need to learn to walk with a walker or a cane and invent new ways to complete routine daily tasks, such as bathing, grooming, cooking and cleaning. That’s where the Home Care Services staff steps in with care and education in the best possible place for learning and healing: the patient’s own home.
“At home, we know people are going to eat better and rest better,” Myers said. “There’s more motivation to succeed, since they’re in their own familiar environment.”
The focus of Adventist Health/Home Care Services is on skilled nursing care, encompassing the expertise of registered nurses (RNs), licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, home health aides and social workers. Although Home Care Services does not offer personal care, such as meal preparation, house cleaning or shopping assistance, staff can make referrals to reputable personal care firms as part of an overall assessment of the patient’s needs.
Patients access Adventist Health/Home Care Services only through physician referral. When a referral is received, a staff member first makes an in-home visit with the patient and caregivers to determine the specific services that will be beneficial to the patient. Then the appropriate home care professionals make regular in-home visits to teach and care for the patient until he or she — or the caregiver — is ready to take over any ongoing needs for care.