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Published on August 20, 2019

home health nurse visiting sick infant at home

Home Care Helps Patients of All Ages

There are no age limits when it comes to quality care that takes place at home.

Often times we think of an older population when we think of people needing assistance from medical professionals in their homes. Home Health can also be a valuable and needed service for the youngest members of our population.

“Often when babies that have spent time in a neonatal or pediatric ICU are discharged, home care professionals provide that support and educational bridge to help mom and dad succeed as they take over the care on their own,” said Jennifer Finley, RN, Avera@Home agency manager in Pierre. “Some children may require oxygen, have a feeding tube placed or have new medications prescribed. These things can be overwhelming to caregivers. Our experienced staff can help with education and teaching so parents and caregivers feel comfortable and confident.

Each Patient Unique

Children and infants who are discharged from an intensive care setting along with their caregivers, often receive two visits a week from skilled at-home nursing staff. The patients are weighed, measured, and vital signs are assessed. That information is shared with the provider to better monitor the child and to avoid any setbacks.

“When we are assessing the patient on a regular basis we can help prevent any issues that may surface before they become problematic “” said Finley. “We can be there to answer questions and make sure mom and dad are comfortable with the cares they are providing for their child.

As the child’s health improves, the frequency of the in-home visits may decrease but the skilled team can continue to provide the support both patient and family might need.

Saving Trips, Stopping Infection Risk

Skilled at-home care helps the very young, but it can also prevent issues for children who are a little older.

“Care in the home is another way to protect the patient’s immune system. The child will not be exposed to crowded waiting rooms or doctor’s offices – at least in those first few days or weeks at home,” said Finley. “We are seeing an increase in home infusions for patients as well, including the pediatric population. Our team can assist with this process and ensure the family is comfortable providing this care with oversight from our clinicians.”

Avera@Home teams provide a wide range of services to children, including nursing, physical therapy, speech and occupational therapy.

“Each child is an individual and requires a plan of care tailored specifically for them,” she said. “We are on call 24/7 so if a caregiver has a problem or just wants to ask a question we are there to support them. We value the relationship we have with the child’s provider and work closely with them to provide the best care possible for each patient and family we serve.”

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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