This site and our publications do not offer advice on the medical treatment of patients, which is the appropriate task for specially trained medical professionals having detailed knowledge of the patient. It is intended to assist the intelligent layman in managing nursing care in the home.
Our book should be of help to those who want to set up nursing care at home for a patient coming directly from the hospital or from a nursing home used as an intermediate step.
This book will help you make and carry out the decisions appropriate for caring for someone who has been released from a hospital, or otherwise diagnosed, with a severe and possibly chronic medical condition requiring skilled nursing care. Basically, your choices are carrying out nursing care at home or putting the individual into a facility already set up to provide nursing care, such as a hospice, a nursing home, a long-term-care facility, but probably not an assisted-living community, as we are assuming that skilled nursing care will be required. We describe what we have learned by caring for two patients at home and what we have gleaned from other experience and the literature.
We have previously written in brief (Cooper, 2011) about treating a patient rendered by multiple sclerosis (M.S.) to be quadriplegic, ventilator-dependent, medicated and fed through a form of gastric tube (P.E.G. tube). Subsequently and concurrently, we also managed the home nursing care of a woman in her nineties who was virtually quadriplegic and was ventilator-dependent, medicated and fed through a form of gastric tube (P.E.G. tube), as well as being equipped with a pacemaker. Her ability to think and to communicate was seriously compromised, adding another level of difficulty.
NURSING CARE AT HOME
Nursing care at home can range from around-the-clock nursing for someone with a critical condition to regular or even intermittent visits by a nurse to care for someone who continues to live in the home almost exclusively.
Many people would prefer for themselves or their loved ones the option of nursing care at home rather than having to go to live in a separate facility. Depending on the particular details of the situation, this can be significantly more or sometimes less expensive than being in a nursing facility. This option requires management, the primary focus of this book.
The patient in question is being released from the hospital under the condition that the next stop is either a nursing home, a hospice, or a suitably equipped home, yours. You have decided to take on the responsibility of having the patient at home. Now what?
We will show you how to plan for the patient’s homecoming, select where the patient will be cared for, and determine who will provide what care when and how and with what equipment and material.