04 Jul July 2018
Initiating Care At home – Insights from a Recent Client Survey
Applewood Homecare’s recent client survey provides great insights into the lived experience of initiating care at home. As their health declines, clients and their loved ones find it difficult to know how best to proceed in terms of overcoming issues such as possible loss of independence, respect, dignity, privacy, and, ensuring the overall safety and well-being of people moving into old age.
‘My Dad found it very difficult to accept he needed help as he was so independent’.
‘My mam does not want to go into a nursing home, but at the same time she is not wanting strangers into her home. To be honest we were anxious ourselves about this so it was hard to bring up the conversation in the beginning’
At Applewood, we find the best strategy to overcome these issues is inclusion and open and transparent communication ourselves. It is very important to go to people you can trust for information – your local PHN (Public Health Nurse) or hospital discharge staff may have a good insight to support you.
Try to get referrals or testimonies – people with experience of how care at home services operate can tell you what they like or don’t like and this can help you know what to ask when talking to providers. For our part, Applewood Homecare service hinges on vigilance: attention to detail and quick reaction to any changes we see from the daily norms. Like the advice above, we vet all our carers education and experience and continue on then with on-going field supervision support. The key qualities we look for in our people are kindness, passion for the work in terms of client advocacy, and the true understanding of the care at home role and the duty that goes with it.
We were delighted to receive the following feedback in June 2018, which shows the great job our carers are doing in the field:
‘On behalf of all our family, I would like to thank Applewood for the wonderful care you gave our father in the last 18 months. As his health failed he was very grateful to have your help to look after his needs. Thanks to the carers who first eased him into the process and especially to those who cared for him in his final months.’
‘To everyone on the Applewood team, We will never be able to truly Thank you for the kindness, gentleness and wonderful professional care which you gave Mum over the past couple of years, particularly in her final weeks. Mum was so glad to be in her own home with all her things around her and where family & friends could spend time with her. We were so grateful that we could witness the care shown by you all and know that her wish to remain at home could be granted. We have been privileged to witness such kindness.’
Tips on Keeping Hydrated
Although there has been much made of the water restrictions during this unusually hot weather we’re enjoying, it is crucial to ensure our vulnerable people are taking in the increased amounts of water to keep them in good health. The HSE has recommended the following:
- Stay out of the heat
- Cool yourself down
- Drink plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.
- Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content.
- Take a cool shower, bath or body wash.
- Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.
You can find some more useful advice on staying healthy in hot weather on the HSE website here.