Recovery from Long-Haul COVID and Pneumonia in the Comfort of his Own Home
June 29, 2022
By Danielle Andersen
Home Health Care and Remote Health Monitoring Services Kept One Patient from Making Countless Trips to the Doctor
Dale Prechel was a happy, healthy, and active 68-year-old living in Alexandria, Minnesota. Retired and married with two daughters and seven grandchildren, he stayed busy, doing things he loved like hunting, traveling, visiting with friends, and even mowing his daughter’s lawn. Everything was going well — until he contracted COVID-19 pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a serious complication of COVID-19. Damage to the lungs can last for a year or more, and during COVID pneumonia recovery, the body first has to repair the damage caused to the lungs, then it has to clear the leftover fluid and debris from the lungs, and finally, it has to repair the lungs until the scarred tissue is fully healed.
Dale was in the hospital in Fargo for 31 days, and even after he was discharged, his doctor told him that he needed to have additional care at home. That’s where Knute Nelson came in.
Home Health Services Included Nursing and Physical Therapist Visits
The home health care services team at Knute Nelson started by sending a nurse to assess Dale and determine the level of care that was needed. They decided that Dale would be a good candidate for home health care services as well as remote health monitoring. At first, he had nurse and physical therapist visits twice a week, as well as occasional visits from an occupational therapist to help him regain his strength. He was also able to monitor his vitals, blood pressure, blood sugar and weight daily through the remote health monitoring system. “It was very easy,” Dale said. “If I had trouble at home, I’d just type a message that I needed a nurse to come in, and they were very helpful.”
At-Home Care Was as Easy as Typing a Message Into His Remote Health Monitoring Tablet
Aside from his in-home visits, Dale found comfort and ease with remote health monitoring. He knew that if he needed anything at all, a nurse was just one message away. “If I sent a message, they would have an answer or call me on the phone within 10 minutes.” Dale said. “If I wanted them to come to the home, all I had to say is, ‘I need you at the house,’ and it worked out great.”
House Calls Done Virtually
When it came time for house calls from nurses, many of those were done through Knute Nelson’s remote health monitoring program.
During the virtual visits, nurses could speak with Dale and instruct him how to adjust his own oxygen levels and provide other basic cares for himself. For the most part, each visit, whether in person or online, was with the same care team. It was helpful for Dale to always see the same faces, and know who and what to expect.
The home health care and remote health monitoring services meant that Dale did not have to constantly travel to the doctor’s office, saving him the hassle and expense of travel and waiting rooms.
“I just want to thank everyone at Knute Nelson for all they did for me,” he said. “It was very helpful. Considering that I am a COVID long-hauler, if they weren't there, I would have to go to the hospital weekly all the time. I’m so glad they are there for me.”
Home Health Care and Remote Health Monitoring Services from Knute Nelson
Home health care from Knute Nelson features a variety of services, including physical and occupational therapy, IV therapy, medication management and education, skilled nursing, case management, and remote health monitoring. It is a helpful tool for those wanting to age in place, within their own home, or who need a little extra help getting back on their feet following an injury or illness.
Knute Nelson’s home health care team includes dedicated and highly trained and experienced staff. Once your primary care provider orders home health care, members of Knute Nelson’s care team will come to your home and assess your physical needs and home environment to draw up a personal and effective home health care plan.
Care service packages that include remote health monitoring are facilitated using a dedicated and easy-to-use electronic table and vital signs monitoring equipment. There are medication reminders, preloaded educational tools, daily COVID-19 screenings, and tools that help you get in touch with a nurse if you need it, and other benefits include video, texting, and calling ability with friends and family as well as additional health engagement opportunities.