Visiting Nurses Association (VNA / VNAA)
Live and learn! Another resource about which I was ignorant.
Over a year ago, I asked Jerome's private GP to approve him for an evaluation by the VNA to find out what services they offer and what might be available in our situation. Of course, their office dropped the ball.
This past week, Jerome had some type of abdominal illness. We now use the VA for medical stuff. Took him to the VA clinic, and the substitute doc clearly graduated in the bottom 1% of her med school class. Did not even bother to examine him, touch him, etc. Just said it must be acid reflux.
By next evening pain was much worse and getting Jerome to ER was not an appropriate option. So I called the local house call doctor (only one in our entire area). The downside is you have to private pay.
Upside -- he was GREAT!!! Spent an hour and a half with Jerome really checking him out, all in the comfort of our own home. Determined that ER was not necessary that night, but wanted him to have lab and CT work in the a.m. as liver/gallbladder were suspect (the tests ARE covered by Medicare and insurance).
Jerome seems to be heading into another bout of diverticulitis. Told doc I was concerned that Jerome is chronically dehydrated. He asked how I would feel about VNA coming to set up IV hydration.
VNA nurse came on Friday, all necessary equipment (down to hand soap) was delivered, nurse set up the IV and taught me how to set it up each morning (NOT the needle in vein part).
Then asked if we thought physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy services, or a social services consult would be helpful. If doctor orders it, it is all covered by Medicare and insurance as Jerome is considered homebound. I said YES!!!!!
VNA will call Jerome's new doctor (I'm making that relationship permanent!) who has already told me he would absolutely approve those services for Jerome.
Lots of us know that VNAs can provide hospice services, but I really did not know about the other services, how it can be paid for, or what role the doctor plays in getting those services lined up.
To learn more about VNA in your community, go to http://www.vnaa.org
, enter your city or zip, and it will link to your local VNA.
Hope this info is helpful to others ...