Richard is a jokester but he knows staying healthy is very serious business. This knowledge did not come easily, however.
A Brooklyn native, Richard and his wife moved to Maine when they retired. Sadly, his wife died a few short years after their move, leaving Richard with little social support.
Heart and lung conditions plagued Richard; he was exposed to asbestos over years of work in school boiler rooms. He required open heart surgery and a pacemaker. He returned frequently to the hospital and struggled with the self-care needed to maintain his health.
While not new to homecare, Richard struggled to follow programs set up for him by well-meaning providers.
MaineGeneral HomeCare teaches a “Chronic Care Management” program to its nurses and therapists. Laura, RN, took the class and learned about patient-directed healthcare goals. As luck would have it, she was assigned to care for Richard.
Laura saw many barriers to Richard’s successful disease management, including poor vision, financial issues and confusion about how to take his medications.
She and Richard worked together diligently. Laura brought him a scale and taught him when to weigh himself and what to do with the results. She arranged his medication list in a color-coded, large print format, allowing him to take charge.
Most importantly, she established “rules for good health”, which Richard lives by even now, several months after discharge from care. The med system and rules resulted from a successful collaboration between Richard’s physician, the Community Care Team nurse, the pharmacist and others.
Richard is now doing well at home and says he would rate the MaineGeneral HomeCare service "extremely high.”
“The workers are good. They all helped out,” Richard says. “I’d recommend them to anyone!”