Donate Life!

April is National Donate Life Month! This years’ theme is: “Life is a beautiful ride”, and the bicycle has been chosen as its symbol to represent the cyclical journey of organ donation and renewed life.

Home Health and Hospice providers, see firsthand the tremendous need there is for organ donation, and how many lives can be saved through a single lifesaving gift. For many Home Health and Hospice patients suffering from advanced kidney disease, liver disease, or congestive heart failure, the only hope for recovery an organ transplant. The need for more donors is staggering. According to national statistics:

  • Approximately 114,000 men, women, and children are on the national transplant waiting list.

  • Every 10 minutes another person is added to the national waiting list.

  • 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not donated in time.

  • 82% of patients waiting are in need of a kidney.

  • 95% of Americans are in favor of organ donation, but only 58% are registered.

  • One person can donate up to 8 lifesaving organs.

How you can get involved:

  • Spread the word about donation through your social media outlets. Check current organ donor data before posting: https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/

  • Sponsor a registration drive at local colleges in your service area.

  • Offer to speak at local churches on the importance of donation. Provide disease specific information like kidney, liver, heart, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that describe the support Home Health and Hospice can provide to patients and their families.

  • Partner with your referral network on Friday April 12th, Blue and Green Day, and organize a bike ride to raise awareness for organ donation.

  • Visit UNOS* to learn the facts and see how you can make a difference.

  • Register to be an organ donor: www.organdonor.gov    

 Visit Tagwebstore.com for your Home Health and Hospice patient education materials.

*United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the private, non-profit organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system under contract with the federal government.

Manage your Stress ... be Healthier

Living with a chronic illness certainly takes a toll on a person’s physical wellbeing, but it also does a number on their mental wellbeing. The activities of daily living (ADL) can become overwhelming obstacles for those suffering with chronic illness. The mental effect of needing assistance with the basic activities of daily living, coupled with the demands it makes on family members, can be a major source of stress for everyone involved. Finding ways to relieve that stress will not only improve the body’s responsiveness to medical treatment, but will improve quality of life. Here are some relaxation techniques you might consider:

  • Meditate

  • Perform visualization

  • Practice deep breathing

  • Have a go at yoga

  • Listen to music

  • Go for a walk

  • Try aromatherapy

  • Get a massage  

  • Take up a hobby

  • Read a book

  • Visit the Spa

Spend time with friends (especially those that make you laugh)

A good first step to help patients reduce stress and improve their quality of life is to refer to home health and hospice.  Patients receive high quality care in the serenity and comfort of their homes, which reduces both apprehension and stress.

April is National Stress Awareness Month. Maximize your marketing throughout the month by emphasizing the comfort and convenience of home care.  

Spread the word:

  • Post about stress management and relaxation techniques on your social media outlets throughout the month.

  • Visit your referral sources and provide information on coping with chronic illness they can share with their patients.

  • Make life a little easier for the clinicians in your service area by distributing discharge planner brochures with solutions for post hospital care.

  • Partner with local alternative healers in your community and host a mini fair at senior centers throughout your community. Have your PTs and OTs demonstrate safe exercises that can help with mobility and in turn reduce stress.

Visit the TAGWebStore.com for all your Home health and Hospice print media essentials.

April is National Occupational Therapy Month

April is national Occupational Therapy month and the perfect time to promote the occupational therapy services your home health agency provides.

Many patients recovering from surgery or struggling with chronic illnesses have difficulty carrying out the activities of daily living (ADLs). Home health care provides occupational and physical therapists who help patients better manage their daily routines. Occupational therapists evaluate a patient’s home environment along with their physical capabilities to identify activities that might be difficult for them to accomplish. The therapists then create a program instructing patients in performing these daily tasks safely, which is especially useful for seniors who need to minimize fall risk.

Occupational therapists aren’t just concerned with functionality, they also provide emotional support. Therapists encourage patients to be kind to themselves and to accept that managing ADLs differently is okay. They teach energy conservation techniques to minimize joint stress, pain, and fatigue. Practicing energy conservation reduces the frustration of running out of steam by balancing rest and activity.

Energy Conservation tips:

  • Plan ahead by scheduling difficult tasks for when you have the most energy.

  • Take frequent short rest periods and lie down whenever possible.

  • The amount of rest you need and the amount of activity you can do will be different from day to day.

  • Avoid activities that cannot be stopped immediately if they become too much.

  • Sit to work whenever possible and rest before you feel tired.

  • Plan a balance of rest and activity, spreading the more draining tasks throughout the week.

  • Delegate responsibilities to others.

Here are ideas on how your agency can celebrate Occupational Therapist month:

  • Throw an OT party and invite former patients to share their success stories and take lots of photos to share on social media.

  • Highlight individual therapists in your social media posts. Have them share fun facts about themselves and give a short ditty about why they chose to become an occupational therapist.

  • Host a lunch & learn for your referral sources to point out all of the services you offer your patients and to seek feedback to improve your business.

  • Organize an OT get-together after work to facilitate team building and discuss the patients that have touched your heart.

Check out our online web store for materials to help promote your wellness message…

Are you Ready for National Doctors’ Day?

This month and especially on Doctors’ Day, be ready to acknowledge your referring physicians who champion home health and hospice care. After all, physicians are the supporting limb of the home care referral tree. Home health and hospice agencies depend on the endorsement of these medical professionals who entrust them with the care of their patients.

Doctors’ Day was first observed in 1933 by Eudora Brown Almond who decided to set aside a day to honor her husband and other physicians for their dedication to healing. She selected March 30th to coincide with the anniversary of the first use of surgical anesthesia. In 1991, President Bush signed the observance of Doctors’ Day into Law:

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation by President George Bush

 More than the application of science and technology, medicine is a special calling, and those who have chosen this vocation in order to serve their fellowman understand the tremendous responsibility it entails. Referring to the work of physicians, Dr. Elmer Hess, a former president of the American Medical Association, once wrote: “There is no greater reward in our profession than the knowledge that God has entrusted us with the physical care of His people. The Almighty has reserved for Himself the power to create life, but He has assigned to a few of us the responsibility of keeping in good repair the bodies in which this life is sustained.” Accordingly, reverence for human life and individual dignity is both the hallmark of a good physician and the key to truly beneficial advances in medicine…. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 30, 1991, as National Doctors Day. I encourage all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs and activities.

 

Here are a few ideas you can use to show your appreciation to the physicians in your community*:

  • Send personalized cards to all the referring physicians in your network.

  • Promote Doctors throughout the month of March on your social media sites by highlighting physicians and their role in promoting wellness in the community.

  • Reach out to all the physicians in your community with Doctors’ Day remembrance products. It’s an incredible way to show appreciation, introduce your agency, and build new business.

  • Contact medical office directors in your area and walk them through Transitional Care Management and Care Plan Oversight. Two ways that physicians can bill for services that may be overlooked.  Take along print media they can share with their staff to illustrate the process.

  • Host an appreciation lunch for the physicians new to your community. Partner up with local agencies such as the Realtor association, YMCA, education association, Rotary club, garden club, or Chamber of Commerce to make it a complete welcome wagon affair.  

Visit tagwebstore.com to order your personalized Doctors’ Day products

*Be mindful of regulations regarding compensation for referrals. It’s important to remember that the gifts given can't reflect the volume of referrals provided by the physician. The best solution is to provide the same gift for everyone.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week is March 10 – 16

Promote Pulmonary Rehabilitation throughout the month of March! Highlight the role home health can play in improving outcomes and reducing hospitalizations for patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  

Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a therapy program designed to reduce symptoms and increase stamina for people with breathing problems. PR is an individualized care plan that works in tandem with other medical treatments to teach patients how better to manage their condition. A typical PR strategy may include:  

  • Physical training

  • Energy-conservation techniques

  • Respiration coaching

  • Meal planning

  • Disease management procedures

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a long-term commitment that can be an effective treatment for: respiratory failure, pulmonary hypertension, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and COPD. Patients with severely compromised health and those with limited mobility can find it difficult to participate in regular therapy sessions. That’s where having a team of specialists come to the patient is so helpful. Home health can provide the therapy people need without their leaving home.

Home health care teams, nurses, technicians, and specialists provide high level care for patients with obstructed breathing.

  • Promote home care to the physicians in your service area. Remind your referral network that under Medicare patients are generally covered for most medically necessary COPD treatments including home health care ICD-10 codes J00-J99.

  • Cold and Flu season may be winding down, but the local walk-in clinics are still busy treating patients with respiratory illness. Call on these often-overlooked referral sources and distribute patient education materials about home health and COPD.

  • Advocate lung health through your social media outlets with links to helpful resources.

Visit TAGwebstore.com for all your home health, private duty, and hospice print media.