The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

Home Care Safety Tips Courtesy of Brightstar

Posted by Ken Accardi on Mar 31, 2010 4:29:00 PM

Even if Ankota delivers the best home care software ever conceived, there are certain basics of patient/client safety that we can't help with.  This article, shared with permission of the Brightstar Blog shares some terrific safety tips relevant to home healthcare, private duty care, and other aspects of elderly care and patient safety.  Enjoy!

For everyone, from children to seniors, the thought of leaving the familiarity of home can be a scary and intimidating experience. Relocating to new surroundings can prove to be a huge lifestyle shift for anyone at any age. Whether it's after treatment, post-op, or even elder care as we age, homecare can mean more than just comfort, but also health and safety. 

Researchers from the UK have reported that symptom management for patients with breast and colorectal cancer treated with oral Xeloda® (capecitabine) was better for patients who received home care nursing than for patients receiving standard care. Another study has indicated that half of infection deaths are linked to hospital care. According to a Wall Street Journal article, sepsis and pneumonia, two infections that can often be prevented with tight infection control practices in hospitals, killed 48,000 patients and added $8.1 billion to heath care costs in 2006 alone. And yet another study has indicated that, given they are seeking the appropriate treatment for their condition, patients with chronic heart disease fare better at home versus the hospital. 

So the question remains - what can be done to keep a family member or loved one in their home? Is there something you can do to ensure a loved one can remain home both healthily and safely? The answer can vary depending on each unique situation, but generally, yes. Mobilize your family and friends to set up a plan of care for your loved one, assigning each person a role; enlist supplemental caregivers where needed. Or, enlist the help of a home health provider. You can also make these easy modifications to the home to make it safer:

  • Make sure area rugs have non-skid backing and are not placed in high-traffic areas
  • Place electric cords along walls, not under rugs, and away from traffic areas
  • Place a non-skid mat or strips in the standing area of the bathtub or shower
  • Install handrails securely on the walls of the bathtub and near the toilet
  • Make sure that the carpeting on stairs is securely fastened and free of fraying or holes, or place non-skid strips on uncarpeted stairways
  • Equip hallways with nightlights
  • Properly secure interior and exterior handrails on staircases and ramps
  • Ensure light switches are located at the top and bottom of stairways and at both ends of long hallways
  • Equip gas stoves with pilot lights and an automatic cut-off in the event of a flame failure
  • Repair steps and walkways with cracks, potholes and erosion to even it out

Often times, a visit to the hospital is unavoidable, but if you or your loved one has the option to receive care and/or recuperate at home, there are resources available to help you to make this happen.

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Ankota is dedicated to improving the quality and efficiency of care delivered outside the hospital.  Ankota provides web-based software for home health and home care (private-duty non-medical care).  To learn more please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices, thought leadership

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About Ankota

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Reeadmisison avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

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