HILDA’S STORY: Back on track

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Hilda, 91-years-old, can’t see as well as she used to, but nothing got by her, until she stumbled at home. During a routine follow-up, her doctor found that Hilda had diabetes. Hilda was hospitalized to help stabilize her blood sugar. She was used to being active and looking after herself; now for a whole week, she was cooped up in a hospital bed with nothing to do. And there was so much information to learn on her new condition and so many changes to make. The situation was overwhelming.

A daughter’s help

Fortunately, her daughter Mary helped to get things on track. She found a home health care service in the community that would help Hilda make a safe transition home. And Hilda and Mary created a step-by-step dietary plan, which covered the foods she should eat as well as how much and how often, and an exercise plan, which included walking, stretching and strength-training. The home care nurse taught Hilda how to give herself insulin and arranged for the pharmacist to preload the insulin and deliver the syringes to the house.

Home care to the rescue

Hilda has decided to continue to use the home care service that supervised her return home. Twice each week, she is visited by a personal support worker who ensures that the refrigerator is stocked, that Hilda keeps track of medical appointments, that she showers safely, and that she is generally “on track.” The nurse supervisor visits regularly, reviews the blood sugar record, and stays in touch by telephone.

Best of all, Hilda’s daughter’s visits are no longer spent on keeping mom safe and tidy. Now, they can use that time to talk, shop, or enjoy a walk around the neighbourhood.

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