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ABOUT—My Journey

Carol L. Bluestein: PARENT/PATIENT CARE—6
1. Introduction 3. Hospital/Facility Care 5. Care Givers 7. Stroke Recovery
2. General 4. Home Care Patient Personal Life History Form 8. Hospice


  • Aides - While there is all levels of care available, in can be fairly simply divided into four categories:
    • Nurse - able to administer medication as well as patient care;
    • aide - able to take care of patient but no medication;
    • housekeeper - keeps things tidy and light cleaning, can do laundry, makes meals and asists patients to insure safety.
    • Patient sitting - call someone if your parent or patient needs help.
  • Aides - home care. Know what kind of support you are paying for and the actual support your parent or patient is getting. Almost all aides will do light cleaning, laundry, light meal preparation, patient toileting, dressing, etc. And, if at all possible, interact with your parent or patient—even if your parent or patient can not talk. However, YOU MUST ASK for what you want and expect.
  • Make sure there is a Patient Personal Life History Form in their folder and have extra copies to hand out as necessary. Also, leave a list of contact phone numbers.
  • Aides are NOT supposed to be a couch potatos for 4 to 6 to 8 hours a day. Your service providers are there for you and your parent or patient. Let go and make them partners - make lists of the things you do that they may be able to do while they are on duty, with patient care being foremost.
    • Make good use of lists as well as bells, buzzers, whistles, baby monitors, walkie-talkies and intercoms to increase awareness and communication.
    • The visual/sound baby monitors are a key to better mental health. You can be in another room and still keep and eye on the patient. My monitor sent signals as far as my home across the street. I could be summoned at any time and yet sleep in my own bed.
    • Always, Always have a portable blood pressure/oxygen level machine handy as well as a thermometer. You can't imagine how often, when you call a doctor they will ask for the readings before they'll make an appointment. Eventually, you'll learn good readings vs bad and make adjustments in your care for the day.
    • Best use of time for aides for me was a) getting ready in the morning - showering/bathing, dressing and grooming and b) getting your parent or patient ready for bed - modified wipe down, undressing, toileting and personal care. For me, these things required a lot of patience since the rule was to let, in this case, my mom do as much for herself as possible for as long as possible..
  • Safety and Rehab: watch, learn and listen while your patient is getting therapy (of any kind) so you can be an effective support. Now, something I did not do: have someone video you while you are working with your patient. For example, do one for helping your parent or patient to stand and sit. Then show it to anyone who will be working with your parent or patient—especially siblings—so they can maintain the consistency.

Carol L. Bluestein CONTACT Information • • PO Box 238, Slingerlands, NY 12159 • *518-369-2866
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