By Martha Nottingham (Reprinted from the 12/11/2012 edition of the Senior Citizens’ News)

'Caring for you close to Home’ was the mission adopted by Braxton County Memorial Hospital in June 2007 after achieving the goal to become an independent, not-for-profit, community-based healthcare facility once again. This statement implies that compassionate healthcare is available to patients wanting to avoid lengthy travel time to larger facilities. Braxton County Memorial Hospital Home Health expands on this sentiment by providing care to patients in the convenience of their own home.

From personal experience, this writer can attest to the fact that regardless of the exceptional care being provided, most individuals possess a longing for home. After a miraculous recovery three years ago, my father zealously followed instructions given to him by healthcare providers in hopes of returning home as quickly as possible. Subsequently, BCMH Home Health staff were instrumental in helping him achieve good health and resume an active rewarding life. Prior to his recent passing, he expressed his desire to remain in his own home unless hospitalization became absolutely necessary. His circumstances ultimately resulted in brief stays at the Hospice Care Regional Inpatient Center at Elkins as well as Braxton County Memorial Hospital. Even though he received outstanding, compassionate care while at both facilities, his joy and sense of peace was evident the day he returned home. 

Agencies such as hospice and home health provide individuals with the opportunity to receive care while remaining in their homes, although criteria differs somewhat. Hospice primarily focuses on palliative care and end-of-life services while providing support to the patient and family. Home health is available based on a physician’s determination that their patient requires skilled services. Home health care allows patients to remain as independent as possible while returning to maximum levels of health. BCMH Home Health offers skilled nursing, physical therapy, nurse aide and medical social services as well as patient education, IV antibiotics, wound care, chemotherapy disconnects and other skilled needs. These services are available to patients of all ages ranging from the very young to the elderly.

Compassionate and professional care through BCMH Home Health is provided by a dedicated team of staff members including registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and licensed social workers. Physical therapy services are also provided through BCMH Home Health as committed staff members from Gassaway-Glenville Physical Therapy Specialists, Inc. (GGPTS) travel to individual homes in an effort to return patients to their previous levels of activity. This team of individuals has been honored four times as the recipient of the BCMH Department of the Quarter.  Additionally, the 2012 HomeCare Elite™ has ranked BCMH Home Health among the top 25% of agencies in the United States based on performance measures, which include quality of care, quality improvement, patient experience, process measure implementation and financial management. This honor has been achieved three out of five years by the dedicated staff of BCMH Home Health.

Above and beyond awards and recognition, BCMH Home Health staff are genuinely concerned for their patients. They travel over hill and dale, through creek crossings and over treacherous roads, to ensure that home health care is delivered. Occasionally, they encounter ferocious pets and less than perfect living conditions; however, those receiving care are their priority and focus. As we visit with family or friends in healthcare facilities local or far away, and they respond to our inquiries by saying, “I just want to go home,” may we remember that home health care is available. Perhaps Maya Angelou’s quote states it best, “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

 Editor’s Note:  I sincerely thank all those who helped provide such loving care to my father, Clinton Dwight Copeland.  He truly enjoyed sharing stories with many of you who worked so hard to improve his health. Thank you all for your support and understanding during our families’ time of loss.  Your prayers were heard and answered. May God bless each of you!                                                                                                                                  

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