How a virtual house call has changed Ethel's life

How a virtual house call has changed Ethel’s life

Ethel Murphy likes certainty in life. A predictable routine to her day. Bolton Clarke’s registered nurse, Marion Jarvis gives her just that.

At 9.45am, six days a week, nurse Marion’s smiling face pops up on the screen in Ethel’s Coburg kitchen. Video conferencing technology allows nurse Marion to make a ‘virtual’ visit to Ethel via a secure internet connection. Nurse Marion observes Ethel as she takes her blood thinning and cholesterol management medications and as she checks her own blood glucose levels.

With nurse Marion’s watchful supervision, Ethel can also administer her medication to manage her type two diabetes. For 72-year-old Ethel, nurse Marion’s presence each morning gives her peace of mind. “I used to be nervous doing the finger pin-prick test and the medication on my own, but with Marion watching me I feel happy,” explains Ethel.

Sadly, Ethel’s husband, Max, passed away. Now it’s just Ethel and her wiry little Jack Russell/Maltese Terrier cross named Romeo living in her home of 58 years. Life hasn’t always been easy for Ethel. She’s endured pain and discomfort with cardiac failure, chronic back pain and diabetes.

Yet with the generous contributions from our donors and philanthropic community, Ethel is now able to receive outstanding care through the daily face-to-face contact with nurse Marion.

“I can see her, I know her, and I can see if she’s having a down day,” explains nurse Marion. “If there’s something bothering her, I can talk to her about it. It’s still one-to-one personal contact, just like a home visit.”

Bolton Clarke’s telehealth nurses, available through our At Home Support services, listen to clients and provide health care, support and other services that help them remain in their own home and living with the best possible independence and wellbeing.

“There’s great continuity of care and friendship,” says nurse Marion whose telehealth care is backed up with an in-person visit from a Bolton Clarke nurse each week, to set up Ethel’s medication and dress her wounds.

These weekly visits, combined with daily telehealth check-ins give thousands of people just like Ethel the confidence to manage their health while staying in their own home.

Video conferencing technology and many of our innovative health initiatives at Bolton Clarke are made possible through the generous donations and bequests by friends and families of Bolton Clarke’s clients and the philanthropic community.

Bolton Clarke At Home Support is a range of practical, flexible services covering home nursing, home assistance, allied health and mental health. All our services are designed to keep you living independently in the place you call home for as long as possible – delivered with the warm-hearted kindness and respect you deserve.

This story was first published in HouseCall February 2017

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