Regular planned and emergency Home Care Visits
Palliative care is most often given to the patient in the home as an outpatient, or during short-term hospital admission. At home, the patient may take medicines and use other methods prescribed by the homecare team. We conduct regular home visits under the home care programme as a follow-up action to check the condition of patients and provide them solace. The team provides support to the patient as well as to the home caregivers. We look after their families and ensure that members do not suffer due to lack of money; as such provide rice and provisions every month as needed by them. For those patients who cannot be brought to the clinic, home care visits are arranged where a team of nurses and volunteers visit their homes on a regular basis. Whenever this team feels that more professional help is required, a doctor would accompany them. Visits are scheduled considering the criticality of each patient, The home care teams are managed by Shri. Ramakrishnan Nair (Mobile: 9744013115) and Dr. Shyamala Gopinath.
We have two home care units, one attending to regular planned home care visits and the other attending to emergency calls. These teams of volunteers including nursing staff and one doctor visit the patients in their homes with medicines and all other necessary medical equipment. Procedures like catheterization etc are done during home visits which save the patient from the trouble of being taken to hospital for this purpose. Medicines to alleviate pain are also given during these visits. The relatives of the patients are given proper guidance in wound care, medication, diet, etc. The need for involvement of every member of the family in care and treatment of the patient is stressed. Home Care visits strengthen the confidence of the patient and family members to face the hard times of illness and social as well as financial distresses.
Levels of Homecare:
We have organised the homecare program on three levels to suit the requirement of patients; this has also helped in making more number of home care visits, with the available people.
- Volunteers' homecare
- Nurses' homecare
- Doctor's homecare
1. Volunteer's homecare
This is done by the community volunteers who visit the patients on a regular basis. The volunteers check the patients for drug compliance. The general condition of the patient will be reported to the clinic. They also make an assessment of the social and financial issues and plan possible support by the Society.
These visits are very important. The general condition of the patients and their requirements in terms of drugs and other medical issues as also the financial condition of the family are made known to the Nurses and Doctors regularly through these comprehensive reports.
2. Nurses' homecare
Nurses visit the patients along with volunteers to conduct minor procedures like urinary catheterization, Ryle's tube insertion, wound dressing, etc. They provide hands-on training to family members in routine wound dressing and educate them on catheter care, care of the feeding through tubes, ostomy care, bedsore prevention by introducing waterbed, etc. Providing rice kits to needy families will be done during these visits.
3. Doctor's homecare:
Based on reports from Nurses the doctor visits the patient to address specific medical issues, like the assessment of new symptoms, attending to minor procedures like ascites fluid drainage, tracheostomy care, etc. Consultation regarding diagnosis prognosis will be done and treatment, if necessary, will be suggested.
Planning the Visits
Home care visits are planned well ahead of schedule. The home care team plans the routes to be covered and the kind of rehabilitation to be offered. The team contacts the patients/bystanders through phone or other means and passes on the information of home care visits in advance.
Infrastructure & Support
We need to mention here the kind gesture of the following organisations who provided the much-needed vehicles for transportation of Nurses and Volunteers. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation was the first to donate a Qualis Van for conducting Home Care visits. Other organisations who have donated vehicles are Catholic Syrian Bank Officers' Association (a Bolero Van), Power Grid Corporation (an Ambulance), Karnataka Bank (a Van). We are thankful to these organisations for their kind support.