Community Papers

The care beyond Richmond Hospital’s doors

Richmond’s Home Care Services central team.  -
Richmond’s Home Care Services central team.
— image credit:

Outside of Richmond Hospital, there exists a vast network of health care services in our community to help patients—or clients as they’re often known—to provide the necessary services as they transition from being in the hospital to their very own bed at home.

Home care spans a broad continuum of services for people of many ages, many diverse backgrounds, and many needs that are better cared for at home rather than in a hospital. Some examples include managing pain, medications and chronic diseases, caring for wounds, helping people with their intravenous therapies or discontinuing chemotherapy. Perhaps most profoundly, health care team members often help individuals and families deal with issues when a loved one chooses to stay at home at the end of life’s journey.

I’d like to introduce to you Martha LeDrew. Martha is one of the many exceptional home care nurses on our team and represents the compassionate and expert health care professionals that Richmond is known for. Martha, a Steveston resident, has been a nurse for 33 years and has worked as a home care nurse here in Richmond for 12:

“I’m passionate about home care nursing as I feel I truly make a positive difference in the lives of clients and their families.

“I work with an entire team: other nurses, a dietician, a wound care specialist…there’s also a palliative care physician and a palliative care social worker. We have home support workers and schedulers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and we have case managers. Sometimes, depending on the client, you may speak with all of these people on the same day. It’s true patient-centered care here.”

“A lot of my role is teaching. We try to involve clients in their own care. For example, if they require IV care, we teach them how to change the battery in their pump and their own medication bags.”

“Clients have a lot of questions. We may also get a lot of questions from the rest of the family. Many people are very scared, particularly when dealing with palliative care…but they are all very grateful for us being able to come to them at home. We truly care for the entire family.”

“Many of our clients are elderly, but occasionally we have had children who have had burns and require frequent dressings in the home. We have some children on IV pumps and we have to change their dressings…We visit new moms who require wound care because of their caesarian sections. It’s a real variety of ages.”

“Because I’m in the client’s home, I’m able to spend more time one on one unlike being on a ward. The relationships often become pretty deep as a result. I feel so fortunate to be able to get to know so many people in our community.

“The one-on-one aspect of home care always appealed to me. It’s so rewarding to be able to make a difference in someone’s life when they are so vulnerable.”

Natalie D. Meixner is president and CEO of Richmond Hospital Foundation. See www.richmondhospitalfoundation.com for information.

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