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Patient & Family Education

Living Independently at Home for Patients and Families

Learning to live with a chronic condition is not always easy. Mary Washington Home Health aims to give you the tools and information you need to live safely and independently at home.

Call 540.741.1667 to speak with one of our intake specialists.

Rehabilitation - Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy

Following a major illness or injury, some patients may need help relearning how to perform daily activities or improve their speech. Mary Washington Healthcare Home Health has a team of highly-trained specialists who provide rehabilitation services in a patient’s place of residence. Our therapists teach patients how to live safely in their home, encouraging patients to demonstrate and confirm they can perform important tasks independently before leaving the home appointment.

Physical Therapy

Rehabilitation and physical therapy are designed to help people with injuries or medical conditions regain normal body functions. Therapy and rehabilitation can help patients gain control over mental reasoning difficulties, movement, chewing, language, bowel problems, speech, and more. Therapists coordinate care with other healthcare disciplines, including your doctor as well as communication with family or caregiver.

The physical therapist's goal is to teach patients how to best live safely in their home. We put together a plan of care which helps patients regain or strengthen use of muscles and joints. They work with patients who have any problem that limits their ability to perform daily mobility tasks, such as getting in and out of bed, on and off a chair/seat, and moving around.

Physical therapy includes:

  • Address weakness through special exercises
  • Improve range of motion/flexibility
  • Promote cardio-pulmonary fitness
  • Develop coordination and balance
  • Enhance body and spatial awareness
  • Identify specialty equipment needs (walker, tub/shower bench, etc.) and training people in their use
  • Educate on home safety/fall prevention
  • Exercise Sessions
  • Transfer training from place to place (in and out bed, in and out shower or tub)
  • Gait and safe walking training
  • Review fall precautions and weight bearing status
  • Family and caregiver training
  • Home Safety Review (equipment, walkways, bedroom and bathroom accessibility)
  • Coordination of medical equipment needs

Occupational Therapy

Mary Washington Hospital Home Health Occupational Therapists assist patients with physical, social, or emotional disabilities in how to perform daily functions such as eating, bathing, dressing, and more, including:

  • Teach and review activities of daily living (dressing, meal preparation, bathing)
  • Provide strategies for maintaining cognitive skills
  • Provide methods and resources so patient can function more effectively within their community
  • Teach and review use of adaptive equipment
  • Provide edema (swelling) management, as needed
  • Teach fall precautions

Speech Therapy

MWHC Home Health Speech Therapists help patients regain the ability to communicate clearly with swallowing, cognitive training, head and neck treatment with the following treatment goals:

  • Evaluating existing speech limitations and disorders
  • Improving and maximizing patient independence in communicating and swallowing
  • Reducing risks of aspiration and choking
  • Improving patient memory and thinking skills

Home Health Services When Discharged from the Hospital

Often times, home health services are ordered by a physician as a patient is being discharged from the hospital and/or nursing home. Our nurses, social workers and intake team work closely with the patients physician and caregivers to seamlessly set up home care services for patients prior to their leaving the hospital. For many patients dealing with chronic conditions such as COPD and heart failure, home health services can greatly reduce repeated hospitalizations and readmissions.

Most patients receive an initial home health visit by a nurse or therapist within 48 hours of discharge from the hospital.

Home Health Social Workers

MWHC Home Health Social workers provide resources and information to ensure that the patient is safe and well-cared for in their home environment. By providing educational tools and connections to resources within the community, home health social workers are able to provide social, medical, and psychological assistance.

Social workers are responsible for:

  • Assessing the patient’s needs and connecting them to available resources.
  • Evaluating the patient for any psychological, social and/or medical needs.
  • Assisting with finding appropriate living arrangements such as a skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility as needed.
  • Communication with patient care team - including physicians, nurses, therapists and administration about patient needs.
  • Assisting with completing advanced directives, living wills and medical power of attorneys.

Skilled Home Health Nursing Care

Mary Washington Home Health nursing staff consists of experienced and compassionate Registered Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants. Our nurses are committed to working with your doctor to develop individual care plans for each patient and their family.

During regular in-home visits, home health nurses monitor and educate patients in the following:

  • Following a prescribed treatment plan
  • Tracking and monitoring their symptoms
  • Taking medications as needed and looking out for side effects
  • Maintaining a heart healthy diet and controlling their weight
  • Watching the amount of fluid they consume
  • Making healthy lifestyle changes

Comprehensive in-home medical care for many diseases and conditions including:

  • Cancer care
  • Surgical recovery
  • Heart failure and cardiac care
  • Diabetes management
  • Pneumonia and respiratory conditions
  • COPD management
  • Joint replacements
  • Muscular and joint
  • Cardiovascular surgeries and procedure
  • Stroke recovery
  • Seizures and neurological conditions
  • Kidney and gastrointestinal

Skilled nursing treatments include the following:

  • Wound care
  • Post-surgical care
  • Ostomy care
  • IV Therapy
  • Enteral nutrition
  • Medication management
  • Pain and symptom management

We teach patients to take care of themselves with a goal of living independently whenever applicable. Our home health team teaches patients and their caregivers to use tools to monitor daily activities and record weight and symptoms. By caring for themselves, patients take control of improving their quality of life.

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)

Certified Nursing Assistants perform basic health-related services such as:

  • Checking the patient’s pulse, temperature, and respiration rate
  • Assisting the patient with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, mobility, etc...
  • Changing simple dressings
  • Caring for skin
  • Helping with braces and artificial limbs

CNAs are directly supervised by a nurse or other medical professional and may work with therapists or other medical staff. Aides keep track of what services the patient has received, as well as what sort of progress the patient has made. They also report any change in the condition of the patient to the case manager or supervisor.

Support Groups for Caregivers

We have two caregiver support groups for those currently caring for a loved one. Learn about resources, ways to balance your life, and get support from others going through the same journey.

Due to COVID-19, our support groups are currently meeting virtually. Please call ahead to register for the virtual meeting.

Click the image to download a printable flyer.

Preventing Trips & Falls

Numerous patients are in danger of tripping or falling at home. Check out ways to make your home safer by speaking with your healthcare provider.

Ask your health care provider the following questions to make your home safer:

  • Will any of my medicines make me lightheaded, sleepy, or dizzy?
  • What exercises will help me decrease my chance of falling?
  • What changes can I make to my bathroom in order to make it safer?
  • What changes should I make to my bed/bedroom?
  • Is there any way to make stairs safer?
  • Would help with chores at home be a good choice for me?
  • Would it be beneficial to use either a cane or a walker?
  • What do I do if I fall?

COPD & Respiratory Conditions

There is no cure for COPD, but there are things you can do every day to keep COPD from getting worse, to protect your lungs, and to stay healthy.

Speak to your doctor about the following to successfully manage your COPD:

  • Learn how to manage your days and give yourself time for activities
  • Quit smoking and improve your air quality
  • Eat small health meals throughout the day
  • Build up your exercise routine under the supervision of your doctor
  • Speak with your doctor about a healthy sleep routine

Heart Failure & Cardiac Care

When the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the body’s tissues, heart failure is a possible condition. Heart failure may develop suddenly, or over time, depending on the cause.

Learn more about Heart Health here!

Medication Safety & Prescription Management

When you receive your prescription, always:

  • Check the label: Look for your name, the name of the medicine, the dose, and how often you should take it. If something looks unfamiliar, call your health care provider.
  • Look at the medicine: Make sure it looks the same as what you've been taking. If it doesn't, call the pharmacist or your health care provider
  • Take and store medicines safely: When taking medicines at home, store them properly, and keep them organized and out of the reach of children.

Advanced Care Planning

Records, Documents, and Living Wills

A living will informs family members or loved ones what your wishes are if you become terminally ill or injured and are on life-sustaining measures.

Learn more about your living will by clicking here

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