What Do Visiting Nurses Do?
Visiting nurses are usually licensed practical nurses who provide care for seniors who still live at home alone or with relatives. A visiting nurse can spend up to 8 hours each day administering care to the senior, including offering medical assistance and leading the senior through various therapeutic exercises. The care provided by a visiting nurse can be short- or long-term, depending on the senior’s needs.
Enlisting the services of a visiting nurse can help an older adult live independently or with loved ones for longer before moving to a retirement or nursing home. Most home health agencies and local agencies provide visiting nurses to seniors within a local area.
Visiting nurses can help seniors who need continued care after a hospital stay. They also assist people with chronic illnesses, such as glaucoma, arthritis or diabetes. Seniors who find it difficult to accomplish activities of daily living can also benefit from the services of a visiting nurse. In addition, LPNs can provide respite care for caregivers when they go on business trips or vacations.
Licensed nurses can provide a range of medical services to seniors during their visits. They can conduct routine health checks, such as monitoring a senior’s heart rate and sugar levels. Visiting nurses can also provide wound care for seniors recovering from surgery or other injuries. They can administer injections and other forms of medication to seniors who still need such care after leaving the hospital. LPNs also add details to a senior’s health chart, making reports that help doctors make further decisions about the senior’s care.
Visiting nurses can conduct the various forms of therapy a senior needs to remain healthy. Physical therapy regimens help seniors manage pain and can restore function and movement in troubled joints and limbs. Visiting nurses help seniors receiving occupational therapy continue the practice at home by taking them through various mobility, sight and memory exercises. Such therapies help keep seniors independent and prevent falls around the home. Moreover, seniors with speech impairments due to strokes or other medical conditions can receive speech therapy from a visiting nurse.
Whether or not they’re dealing with a medical condition, most seniors often get to a stage where they can’t complete the full range of activities of daily living. A visiting nurse can help the senior get out of bed, take a bath, brush their teeth and dress. They can also help them keep to their medication routine, eat nutritious meals and perform mild exercises, such as stretches and walks. Plus, visiting nurses can talk or read to seniors to provide companionship.
Nurses from home health agencies often take care of seniors’ house cleaning, laundry and cooking. Visiting nurses who care for seniors living alone can also handle some of the chores seniors can’t complete due to limited eyesight or mobility. For example, a visiting nurse can help seniors pay their utility bills or undertake errands, such as walking the dog or grocery shopping. Seniors living alone may benefit from a visiting nurse’s help when making online purchases, making and attending doctors’ appointments and traveling to destinations within their locale.