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What to Expect at Your First Home Care Visit

Caregiving Basics
An adult woman greets the VNS Health team member at the door as she arrives for a first home care visit.

When you’re coming home from the hospital, it can be a relief to know that your doctor’s orders include home care. At the same time, you may be unsure about what to expect from your first home care visit or how to prepare for it. With VNS Health, your care will be tailored to your unique needs.

Before Your First Visit

While you’re still in the hospital, a VNS Health representative will work with your doctor to determine the care you will need once you’re home. On the day you go home, your VNS Health representative will help ensure a smooth transition as you are discharged. You’ll have that day to get settled, fill any prescriptions, and rest before your first home care visit. It’s important to understand that your home care nurse will not visit you on your first day back from the hospital.

The morning after you go home, a representative from VNS Health will call you to tell you what time your nurse will visit.

At the First Visit

During your first visit, your nurse will explain all the details of your plan of care, including which other VNS Health professionals — such as physical therapists, social workers, registered dietitians, and home health aides — are part of your home care team and how often you’ll see them.

If you received instructions about your care while you were in the hospital, your nurse will review them with you to make sure you understand and are comfortable performing them. Be sure to have your discharge instructions and a list of medications ready to show the nurse. Your nurse will also remind you of your follow-up doctor’s appointments, will answer any questions you or your caregivers have, and will demonstrate any techniques necessary for your care. In addition, your nurse will order any supplies you need, from oxygen to sterile gloves, and teach you and your caregivers how to use any special equipment that’s part of your treatment.

Your nurse will also perform a thorough evaluation of your condition. They will:

  • Check your vital signs
  • Monitor any wound or incision sites
  • Administer any medications

Depending on your needs, your first visit may last up to 3 hours.

During Your Time Receiving Home Care

VNS Health will provide all the services your doctor has ordered. We’ll help you understand what to expect regarding your medical condition and recovery, teach you how to manage and monitor your condition, and support you through your recovery.

The best way to make home care successful is to prepare for it in advance by making a list of responsibilities and chores you’d like the home care professional to take on. This way, you can be sure you will receive the help you need. It’s also smart to map out a schedule for meals, medications, sleep, exercise, and other activities and to make a list of emergency phone numbers for doctors, as well as friends and family members who can help in a pinch.

Whether you require skilled medical care or assistance with personal care, you can be sure that your plan of care will include all the services your doctor prescribes to meet your needs.

Stay in touch.