This story brought a smile to my face.
A Bear in the Bathtub
Some of you may recall an account of what I call the "true spirit of home care." It's this spirit that will carry us through the current pandemic as it has carried us through many other crises of various types. Here's the story:
A home health aide in Maine visited a patient in the dead of winter. The main room of the patient's home was heated by a wood stove, while the doors to the remainder of the rooms were closed, including the door to the only bathroom. The aide prepared to give the patient a bath. When she entered the bathroom, she found a dead bear in the bathtub. This was not surprising to her because she knew that the bear was a source of food for the patient and family during the winter. But how was she going to give the patient a bath with a bear in the only bathtub?
The aide had a Hoyer lift that she used for the patient and quickly realized that she could also use the lift for the bear. She used the lift to remove the bear from the bathtub, and move the patient into and out of the bathtub. Then she used the lift again to put the bear back in the bathtub where it "belonged."
This, my friends, is part of the true spirit of home care! It's that "can do" attitude that shows we will do whatever is necessary to meet the needs of our patients. "Whatever it takes" might be the motto of many home care providers.
There is another aspect of the true spirit of home care that is equally important.
Recently, an agency needed an experienced staff member to assist with billing on a part-time basis, but wasn't having any luck identifying such a person. A competitor employed an experienced biller who worked only four days per week. When the competitor heard about the need for an experienced biller, the competitor volunteered its biller to the agency.
This, my friends, is also what the true spirit of home care is all about: the willingness to assist fellow providers, even competitors, with crucial functions of agency operations. Generosity of spirit, graciousness, and value clearly placed on relationships with fellow providers are essential to the success of the industry as a whole.
The true spirit of home care makes us strong and provides a sound basis for a future that is good for patients and providers in the industry. Bill Dombi, President of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, describes home care as "the best place to be." Yes, indeed! To all of you who embody the true spirit of home care, we say a resounding, "Thank you!" You know who you are.
©2020 Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq. All rights reserved.