The Dehydration Prevention Campaign was created to prevent the elderly from becoming dehydrated and reduce avoidable hospitalization. Staten Island PPS partnered with our home health care partners to create the material and roll-out the campaign this year which launched June 2019.
We looked at data for home health care hospital transfers over the last two years. The highest number of transfers took place between June through August each year. The Home Care Workgroup members expressed that the increase in hospital transfers may have been caused by dehydration. This led us to design a campaign to educate and equip clients with tools they needed to stay hydrated this summer.
Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island and Visiting Nurse Service of New York launched the campaign in June 2019. During their home visits the client receives a kit including the following items:
The WRAP is an individualized plan of care created collaboratively by the clinician and client tailored to support self-efficacy. It also reviews the signs of dehydration and provides tips on ways to stay cool. Clients receive home health care for conditions including infection, diabetes, fracture, and cardiovascular disease. They are visited by registered nurses, therapists, and care transition coordinators at home. With this campaign, providers go over dehydration prevention tools and leave the items at the client’s home.
Despite the extreme temperatures this summer, the response to this campaign has been excellent and has produced favorable outcomes. Several clinicians have reported that clients receiving the dehydration prevention materials are very appreciative and optimistic about their ability to utilize the tools to stay comfortable during the heat wave. One client from Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island said, “I really like the water bottle, I can’t afford to buy bottles of water, so I fill my water bottle and take it with me wherever I go”. Another client with chronic COPD and asthma had a care transition coordinator conduct two home visits who helped process paperwork for the Cooling Assistant Benefit through the New York State Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The client was pleased to receive a free air conditioner that arrived August 22, 2019 and was installed free of charge.
As elevated temperatures persist throughout this summer, home health care agencies on Staten Island will continue to work with the support of Staten Island PPS and the New York State’s assistance programs to prevent dehydration. Through the efforts of these dedicated clinicians we anticipate continued success from the Dehydration Prevention Campaign. If you would like more information about this campaign, please contact Mary Han via email at Mhan@statenislandpps.org.
Acknowledgements: Beverly Ader, Marissa Bennetti, Yvonne Eaddy, Marianne Howard-Siewers, Marcia Maddix, Cheryl O’Connell, Kathleen Rainero, Cynthia Roberti, and Lisa Tasca.