KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Legacy Home Health Care is an agency in Clay County specializing in meeting the needs of the local senior citizen community who are less capable to take care of their medical needs outside of their homes.
Legacy provides a vital service to this demographic, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has taken a more significant toll on geriatric citizens, of whom Florida is among the national leaders.
Many healthcare providers are offering telehealth services for their patients, and Legacy Home Health Care is working in conjunction with them to try and meet the needs of those patients who may be homebound.
Telehealth visits are an excellent way to provide some care to patients but are still lacking, due to the inability to put eyes and hands on the patients. That is where Legacy comes in.
“One of the things that we’ve focused on is with our geriatric patients, senior citizens in our community, it’s been a big deal for them to stay in their homes and to not be out and about in crowds – and especially places where there is a likelihood that they would encounter the virus,” said Betsy Murphy, Administrator for Legacy. “So, one of the things we’ve been able to do is reach out to the physician’s offices and let them know that if they feel like their patient needs a hands-on visit, then we can help with that and go in the home. We take all the precautions, and we can certainly provide that hands-on assessment as far as whatever the physician needs us to look at. We can be there and accomplish some things the physician can’t via a telehealth visit. By being there, we reduce the chance that they would have to go to the hospital.”
Hospital visits can increase the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus, Murphy said.
“We are a skilled home health agency,” she continued. “Basically, we provide physical therapy nursing, occupational therapy, all the skilled services that a patient might need in their home. If they’re homebound, we are able to see them under a physician’s order, and their Medicare benefit covers it 100%.”
Due to limited testing availability, Legacy isn’t conducting testing at the home (they do provide other laboratory testing services in the house to include bloodwork).
With the order of the primary care provider, a homebound patient can be seen 24/7 as Legacy maintains an RN (registered nurse) on call.
“Our clinicians are also tested to ensure that every possible way, we can prevent any of this [viruses] going into the home [of the patient],” said Heather Daniels, a Clinical Liaison for Legacy.
“Keeping the people in the safety of their home right now is the very best option for them,” said Daniels. “That’s exactly what our goal is; to keep them in their home, keep them out of the hospitals and out of places they could contract this virus. They’re at the most risk of catching this, so that’s the focus, keeping them right there at home where they’re the most-safe.”