As I published the article “ “Choose Doddridge County Home Health” many past memories came to mind of when I was on the staff of the Doddridge County Home Health Agency.
In the spring of 1978, the Doddridge County Health Department opened up one of the first Home Health agencies in the State.
The purpose of the Home Health agencies was to provide in home care for those who needed assistance in their every day lives.
At that point in time, there wasn’t as many nursing homes in the area and hospitals had begun to release patients earlier and sicker than they had been in the past.
Some of you may remember the days of the Blanche Ford Health Department, where children went to get their immunizations before school each year and she also assisted various families in the County when they were trying to take care of a family member at home.
The need for the in home service began to grow and with the addition to the Health Department of Lorelei Phillips RN, the Doddridge County Home Health was established and officially opened with Sara Mastin, RN, Nancy Travis Home Health Aide (later LPN) Diane Bonnell as Clerk, and myself as a Home Health Aide.
We traveled miles around this County, visiting numerous patients and providing care to those young and old, assisting with everything from bandage changes, to personal care, house cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, meal preparation, medicine pick-up and delivery, whatever a homebound person needed.
Families in that era didn’t have a choice of providers as the County boundaries were not breached and there wasn’t many other agencies providing these services.
Working in conjunction with the patient’s Doctors, we kept our patients at home with their families for as long as we possibly could.
But the added bonus was that we had 5 extra sets of hands to assist when the well-baby, immunization and family planning clinics were held, allowing for more people in the County to receive services through the Health Department.
I know that times have changed, that Home Health has become a big business, along with the change in the rules and regulations associated with Home Health Care.
But I also know, through personal experience, that when Grannie or Mom isn’t doing well and you are afraid and unsure of what to do to help them that having an in County agency with someone that you may know to call for help can be a life line to the person in the family providing day to day care.
I ask all of those in the County to look closely around you and remember the services that used to be provided in the County and when you realize how many of those are no longer here, I hope you ask if there is an in-county agency, such as the Doddridge County Home Health that can provide the services vs an out of County provider.
Daily I hear people say they would like to have more shops and services in the County but as history indicates, if we don’t use what we have we lose the services that are already in place to serve the area.
I will end by encouraging those of you who are providing in home care to loved ones who are home bound to tell the Physician or discharge Nurse that you would like for Doddridge County Home Health Agency to be the provider for your loved one’s in home care.