As Fourth of July Approaches, NAHC President Halamandaris and Senator Begich Visit Home Care Patients
Visits Demonstrate that Home Care Improves Freedom and Quality of Life
July 2, 2015 09:51 AM
As our nation celebrates the Fourth of July, we are grateful for our Founding Fathers who established our nation based on core principles including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are also grateful for our military service members, who fight courageously every day to protect these principles and our freedoms.
During this time of gratitude, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is further expressing appreciation for our home care and hospice nurses and professionals for providing their patients and clients with the freedom to stay in their homes while receiving quality, affordable care.
The freedom and quality of life afforded to patients through home care were on full display last week when NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris and former Senator Mark Begich, Vice President for Policy and Development at NAHC, went on two home care visits with Johns Hopkins Home Care Group (JHCG) in Maryland. Halamandaris and Begich interviewed JHCG President Dan Smith, before visiting the homes of geriatric patient Milton “Spike” Schnitzker and pediatric patient Gabe Schultz.
During the day’s first home care visit, Begich interviewed the Schnitzkers—Spike and his wife, Patricia—about the value of home care. You can watch the full video here. Subsequent NAHC Report articles will provide footage of the interviews with Gabe Schultz and JHCG President Dan Smith.
“Sometimes it takes a gifted leader with an outside perspective to truly articulate the value of a crucial service like home care and hospice,” said Halamandaris. “I want to thank Senator Begich for using his gifted perspective to educate the public about the value of home care and hospice. I also want to thank the Schnitzkers, Gabe and his mother, Linda, along with Dan and his staff at Johns Hopkins Home Care Group for sharing their stories and views about the value of receiving care in the home.”
During their interview with Begich, the Schnitzkers explained how home care has benefited their quality of life by allowing Spike to stay at home rather than going to a hospital or nursing home. “Everyone is more comfortable in their own home,” Patricia said. “Just to have him home is better.”
Spike agreed, explaining that visits to the hospital are time consuming and difficult. When he went for a blood count, he and Patricia had to wait six-and-a-half hours. “If you have to go to the emergency room at the hospital, it’s a lengthy day,” he said. “It just takes the whole day away. It’s a very difficult task to do.”
At home, he is able to eat home-cooked meals. “That’s the secret,” Spike said of home cooking. “You can’t beat it.”
The Schnitzkers have developed a close bond with their home nurse, who provides great care and is available whenever they need her. Spike also receives a constant source of support from family, friends and neighbors who regularly visit the home, something that would not be as common in a nursing home or hospital.
Their experience has turned both of the Schnitzkers into home care advocates. “More people need it and I can’t believe they can cut funding for something that is so important to people,” Patricia said.
Spike, too, is thankful for the care that has allowed him to stay in his home. “I’m blessed,” he said.