New agency will offer home care services on the Island
By SUSAN RIEMER
Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber Reporter
December 28, 2011 · Updated 11:55 AM
Providence Health and Services will begin offering home health services on Vashon next month.
A variety of assistance will be available for people recovering from an injury or coping with an illness, including skilled-nursing care and a range of therapies.
The agency is looking forward to serving Vashon, according to Carrie Hayne, the vice president of the home health service.
“I am excited,” she said. “I think it is a population that is underserved.”
Most recently, Swedish Home Care provided a visiting nurse service to the Island, but when officials there decided to terminate their work on the Island in November, Providence stepped in, Hayne said, and will offer the same services Swedish did, with the same staff, most of whom live on Vashon.
“We really thought this is an area that needs services,” she said.
After some medical events, recuperation or rehabilitation in a facility is required, Hayne noted. Other times, however, people can heal at home when there is support in place — and there are advantages in doing so.
If a person has a wound that needs tending, a home health nurse can come by regularly and provide the needed care, Hayne noted. Or when someone has a chronic illlness, such as heart failure, a nurse can help the patient, family and caregivers navigate the best course.
In the event of major surgery, such as hip replacement, a physical therapist can get the patient up and moving again at home, or following a stroke or injury, an occupational therapist can help with strengthening the upper body and provide instruction in how to use adaptation equipment.
Hayne noted that the therapists take a team approach to working with patients and want to help each person achieve his or her own goals.
In all, Providence home health staff includes nurses, medical social workers, home health aides and physical, occupational and speech therapists.
Typically, doctors refer patients to Providence for their services, Hayne noted, and the first home visit can usually be scheduled for within 48 hours of someone returning home.
Providence has provided home care since the 1990s and also offers hospice care on the Island.
It contracts with many private insurance plans and accepts Medicare.
Many private caregivers also offer home care on the Island. An online reference with profiles of several providers can be found at vashoncareresources.org.
The new nonprofit group Neighbor to Neighbor, which aims to help seniors who wish to age in place, hopes to offers its first services this spring.
For more information on Providence, see www2.providence.org.
Contact Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber Reporter Susan Riemer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-463-9195.