Nurses, therapists and aides – oh my! Learn what role each person plays in senior home care.

Nurse Helping SeniorAllowing a professional senior care team like Nightingale Homecare into the home of your senior loved one can pose some questions. What can you expect when we arrive? What does each person do? Here’s a breakdown of each of our home care team members’ roles:

What is the role of my nurse?

You can expect an RN to look at medications and determine if any help or instruction is needed. If necessary, the nurse might organize medications in a “pill box” to make it easier to keep things straight. Nurses can also monitor and treat wounds, change dressings, administer intravenous (IV) medications or certain injections, change catheters, help manage pain, and evaluate vital signs and disease symptoms.

What is the role of my physical therapist?

A physical therapist can evaluate how your loved one is moving about at home and develop an exercise program designed to improve mobility, balance, coordination, and strength. Therapists also look at the home and make recommendations for safety modifications. They make sure your loved one is using the correct mobility equipment, such as walkers or canes. Therapists are also required to check vital signs to make sure patients are well enough to receive therapy.

What is the role of my occupational therapist?

An occupational therapist evaluates how your loved one is performing activities of daily living, such as bathing, getting dressed, preparing meals and tending to the home. They evaluate how problems with movement, muscle weakness, sensation, vision, hearing, breathing and thinking affect those activities. They can recommend special devices that can make activities of daily living easier for those that have challenges.

What is the role of my speech therapist?

Speech therapists focus on problems with memory, problem solving, swallowing, speaking, and/or understanding speech. A speech therapist can develop a plan and modifications to address specific problems in these areas.

What is the role of my social worker?

A social worker’s role is to evaluate whether there are community services that your loved one can benefit from because of any physical, financial or emotional needs. They are also knowledgeable about different types of housing and how much support is available, and can help in planning for the future needs of someone whose health is declining.

What is the role of my dietitian?

Dietitians look closely at eating patterns and nutritional status, and develop an appropriate eating plan. They can also help plan for meals and provide tips for shopping and cooking. Sometimes dietitians work with patients that have severe issues with weight gain or weight loss, diseases that affect their nutritional status, and patients that have to be fed through a tube.

What is the role of my home health aide?

A home health aide will work under the strict direction of the nurse or therapist and following a care plan that was developed by the professionals involved in your loved one’s care, helping with personal care, such as bathing/showering and getting dressed and ready for the day. The home health aide can also provide a little housekeeping help and help with any exercises that the therapist has ordered.

Please contact the Nightingale office at (602) 504‐1555 to find out how Nightingale Homecare can custom‐fit all of your home care needs.