Morristown, NJ (PRWEB) February 28, 2014
When Helen DePiano reached out to 1-800-WE VISIT seeking Home Care assistance from Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey for her late husband, Helen knew during that phone call she had made the right connection. “Patty Riker, the nurse I spoke with was so warm, friendly and eager to help,” she said. “I immediately felt reassured.”
While the VNA accepts referrals from a myriad of sources including doctors and their medical office personnel, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, government and nonprofit social service agencies, the Referral Services team looks forward to working directly with the public.
Kathy Gallo, LPN, a member of the team that handles 1-800-WE VISIT inquiries explains, “We never just hand off or dismiss calls without gathering a full understanding of the caller’s needs.” The Intake and Referral nurses gather information by asking a series of questions to learn about any primary and secondary medical conditions the prospective client may have, as well as any recent hospitalizations, falls, injuries and other medical events. Information is also collected about any assistive devices such as walkers or canes that are in use and determine what tasks the prospective client needs help completing. That list could range from medication management, dressing a wound and personal hygiene to a variety of routine household chores.
“We are nurses whose focus is customer service and our work is quite diverse,” Gallo noted. On any given day, Gallo and her colleagues will arrange for House Call Groceries for Seniors volunteers to shop for home bound area residents; call doctor’s offices to set-up skilled nursing and rehabilitation for patients who've been discharged from inpatient care without any orders in place; help caregivers secure respite assistance via certified home health aide visits or through enrollment of their loved ones in the Friendship House adult day care program; and much more.
“We strive to be a meaningful resource for every caller,” she pointed out. “If our services aren't appropriate for a caller’s needs or the caller isn't within our geographic service area, we do our best to steer them in the right direction.”
Along with nurses stationed at VNA headquarters to take phone calls, the Referral Services team also encompasses field representatives who visit area hospitals and nursing homes to ensure a seamless transition to home care for patients who are about to be released. “Continuity of care is essential to recovery from some illnesses and surgical procedures, so home care arrangements must often be in place before a patient can be discharged,” explained Ann Marie Binazeski, the VNA’s Referral Services Team Leader. “Intensive, comprehensive home care can actually reduce the length of stay in a hospital or rehab center for some patients such as those who've had elective hip or knee replacement.”
Home bound area residents and their caregivers can reach out to the VNA for information concerning the benefits from home care – even if it hasn't been prescribed by a physician or they’re concerned about affordability. “We specialize in finding care solutions for those who are home bound due to advanced age, illness or disabilities, as well as family members who serve as their caregivers,” Binazeski said. “There are programs funded by the state, the Morris County Office on Aging and by private foundations that underwrite the cost of our services so that we can offer them for free or at a reduced fee to those who qualify. Our representatives can help to determine your eligibility and expedite the application process. We’re also accustomed to reaching out to doctors when orders for skilled care may have been overlooked or fallen through the cracks.”
The Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) has a distinguished 116-year tradition of service in Morris County and neighboring communities. The VNA’s comprehensive roster of home healthcare services includes skilled nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy, hospice care, certified home health aides, caregiver support programs, private care solutions and Friendship House, a social adult day care center. For further information, call 1-800-WE VISIT (938-4748) or refer to vnannj.org.
About the Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey
Statistics show Americans would prefer to age in place at home. However, few are factoring the cost of home care into their retirement planning. Each day, the Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey encounters seniors who need a helping hand to realize their best quality of life. Many with chronic but treatable medical conditions and routine symptoms of aging aren't eligible for Medicare home care beneﬁts. That’s why it’s imperative for those who haven’t yet reached retirement age to plan ahead for individual needs. The Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey has devoted more than a century to delivering home health services to the residents of Morris County, NJ and neighboring communities who want to return home following hospitalization or need a helping hand to remain in the comfort of home despite illness, disability or advanced age. The Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey provides comprehensive home care services, including skilled nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy, hospice, certified home health aides, caregiver training and support and Friendship House, an adult day care center. The Private Care Services program offers certified home health aide assistance tailored to meet specific client needs, lifestyles and resource levels. Private care is available a few hours each week or on a full-time or live-in basis. For further information about VNA services and planning ahead for private care needs, call 1-800-WE-VISIT or go to http://www.vnannj.org.