A Publication of WTVP

I fell at home and hit my arm on the corner of a table, developing a large skin tear. I was treated at prompt care, where the doctor bandaged my arm. I continue to be stiff and sore, and can’t re-bandage the area. Could a home care nurse come until the area is healed?

Your family doctor can order home care to evaluate and treat your arm. The nurse can use special wound care dressings which only need to be changed every three days. Home care will provide the dressing supplies and change the dressing. Physical therapy may be necessary to provide a safety assessment and strengthening to prevent further falls and injuries.

I was recently diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). I have several nebulizers I’m supposed to use and new medication as well. I’m not sure I’m doing the nebulizers right, and I forget if I’ve taken my medication.

A home care nurse can help you set up your medications in a pill box so you can see at a glance if you’ve taken your medication or not. She can watch you use your nebulizer to see that you are using it correctly in order to get the full benefit of the medication.

I’m going to the Mayo Clinic for surgery and I know I’ll need home care when I return home. How is this arranged?

It is best to take the name, phone number and fax number of your home health care agency with you to the Mayo Clinic. Inform the agency of the date of surgery and approximate date of return home. Give the information to the social worker/discharge planner at Mayo’s and ask them to call the agency with home care instructions. They will usually fax your history and physical as well as discharge medications and instructions. Your local doctor will usually continue following you upon return home.

My 82-year-old wife has fallen twice this week and is having more difficulty getting out of chairs. She holds onto furniture when walking through the house. Can home care help?

Home care nurses are skilled in evaluating home environments for safety. Problems with balance and weakness often result in falls, as do obstacles such as throw rugs and drop cords. On admission, the nurse makes a complete home safety assessment. Occupational therapists can recommend bathroom safety items, such as raised toilet seats, bath benches or grab bars. Therapists can work on muscle strengthening, balance and gait training, and may suggest the use of a cane or walker. TPW

The owner of Home Healthcare Plus, Inc. in Pekin, Debbie Davison, is a registered nurse and holds a master’s degree in nursing. The Medicare-certified company has been serving clients and their families in central Illinois since 1994. For more information visit or call 353-7300.