Concerned about patient at home alone

  1. 0
    So I am a new nurse working at a family physicians office. We recently got a new patient, he is an elderly man that, through the course of my assessment, I learned he has numerous medical problems, including diabetes (not well controlled), limited mobility, and difficulty chewing and swallowing food. He has absolutely NO family, or anyone to care for him at home. We did set him up with home health, but he is on a waiting list for the type of daily home care he needs and he disclosed many routine daily living activities, that he has trouble with. So, I was looking for some advise from some nurses with more experience as to what I can do to help him, or if I should even get involved. I was thinking about maybe bringing him some meals that he could easily heat up and eat. I asked him, and he said he would greatly appreciate it. I know as a nurse I need to keep a professional distance from patients, but is it a bad idea to get involved in this way? Are there liability risks in helping patients like this outside of work? He just needs a little help.

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  2. 1 Comments...

  3. 1
    Quote from LPnicki4990
    So I am a new nurse working at a family physicians office. We recently got a new patient, he is an elderly man that, through the course of my assessment, I learned he has numerous medical problems, including diabetes (not well controlled), limited mobility, and difficulty chewing and swallowing food. He has absolutely NO family, or anyone to care for him at home. We did set him up with home health, but he is on a waiting list for the type of daily home care he needs and he disclosed many routine daily living activities, that he has trouble with. So, I was looking for some advise from some nurses with more experience as to what I can do to help him, or if I should even get involved. I was thinking about maybe bringing him some meals that he could easily heat up and eat. I asked him, and he said he would greatly appreciate it. I know as a nurse I need to keep a professional distance from patients, but is it a bad idea to get involved in this way? Are there liability risks in helping patients like this outside of work? He just needs a little help.
    It's great that your office set him up with home health. That was really the best thing that you could do for him. It then becomes the home health agency's responsibility to assess his needs regarding his safety and ability to perform ADLs at home. They are really good at this.

    They should have physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers that will be looking at how he can best remain at home and still be safe. They will know if there are resources in the community for such services as Meals on Wheels programs etc.
    It is their job to assess the needs of patients living alone.

    We each have different roles to perform in taking care of patients. The wise nurse learns that we can not do everything especially if we are not trained to do so. We have to share the responsibilities of patient care with those that are best able to handle them.
    shortscrubbs108 likes this.


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