“Little changes, like little efforts, can start to make a difference in (someone’s) world.” A quote adapted from Janine di Giovanni, an American journalist.
He was a Vietnam War Veteran (I’d say a hero in his own right). He lives in an old RV. And fiercely independent (to a fault). Although his family lives within the area, he has preferred to be independent and continue to live on his own.
Today, Saturday before Easter, I had the privilege of doing a house call visit, serving one of our honored veterans for a Transitional Care Management visit. He has just been discharged from a skilled nursing facility and has been home a few days but his appointment with his primary care provider is not until a number of weeks and he was running low on his medication refills (which included refills for inhalers for his COPD).
This is a house call where it matters. And when it matters. This is what fuels those of us in the Home Based Primary Care practice to do what we are passionate about– providing access to care for those who are homebound and vulnerable. This is such a rewarding aspect of medical house calls. He could have ended up in the ER just because he could not get his medications (inhalers) refilled in time.
In touching the life of this gentleman, albeit for a short and fleeting while, he teaches me the value of standing on one’s own feet and keeping the dignity of existence despite the humble dwellings.
It also made me realize how access to care is so important for homebound seniors. Those that have been there before us, those (like this war veteran) who have given their all, so the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms that are in front of us today.
In keeping with the season and in anticipating the celebration of Easter, I give honor to this my homebound patient for teaching me humility and gratitude for much of what life has to offer.
According to Dr. Thomas Cornwell of the Home Centered Care Institute, home-based primary care practices are a viable solution to addressing quality of care and significantly reducing costs for the healthcare system. Just imagine what a visit to the ER would cost as compared to a preventative house call visit. But most importantly, just imagine how much stressful it is going to be for an elderly person to have to be transported to the ER mainly for a preventable reason (such as a refill of his prescriptions).
Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.-Janine di Giovanni