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News: Home Health Care: Shouldn't That Mean Exactly What it Says?

Article Date(s):09/28/2016

I have always been aware of the many paradoxes in the health care industry: overweight doctors & nurses, a doctor writing a prescription for life-saving (or life-ending) medicines in an illegible fashion, etc. Well I have encountered a new one recently that pertains to what we do at The Henry Co. A "Home Health Care" worker brought in her elderly care recipient's vacuum to be fixed. It was a bagless vacuum that was clogged because no one had ever cleaned the filters - the new most common vac repair for us. She further went on to exclaim that she has the same vac at home & also knew nothing about this alleged filter I spoke of that needed to be cleaned after each use, and will blow bio-hazards back into your air if you don’t. But she decried the bag as expensive and a "pain in the ass" to change.

Needless to say, it is another paradox, ie., some health care workers don't realize how unhealthily ( hey – autocorrect thinks this is a word!) an improperly maintained vacuum blows dirt back into your air. My point is this: this poor old lady, whose lungs have seen better days, has been in a house where this dirt - blowing vacuum is filling her air with stuff that I would have hoped a "home health care worker" should know will be bad for her. Also - not to stereotype, but I'll bet there were some cats in there, adding their special brand of allergens to the mix. It appears that "home health care workers" are generally trained as nurses, but nurses largely operate in a hospital environment that is maintained by people in the maintenance department and so it is not in their job description. It is my opinion that the training to become a "home health care worker" should also include some basic home hygeine courses, since an ill-maintained house could be part of their clients' problem in the first place. Maybe they do, but this particular worker didn't remember it, or chose not to respect its importance, all Hippocratic oaths aside.

We've all heard it said that indoor air is often times more polluted than outside air. I've never scientifically tested this notion myself, but I have been in houses where I'd rather not breathe any more than necessary! If the weatherman tells you to stay inside if you're old due to smog, but your house is full of equally aggravating irritants, I don't know which place would be better for them to be. I'm no weatherman, nor am I a trained health care provider, but I do know this - you alone can't do much about smog. But you CAN control your indoor environment by cleaning it properly, with the proper equipment.

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