Anemic with a failing liver, Fischer’s physician recommended a drug taken every other week to build up her blood. This requires a blood draw prior to the injection. That recommendation can be challenging as her veins to not easily yield to needles. In addition, she experiences some dementia and also walks with a walker.
Her niece, Nancy Oliver, said it is a blessing to care for both her 94-year-old father, Donald Greeson, and her aunt, who years ago cared for her own mother and elderly aunts. “Patricia is a gentle lady who sometimes gets a twinkle in her eye when she feels a bit ornery,” Oliver said.
As a caregiver who also works full time, Oliver found it increasingly difficult to help her aunt meet her medical needs. Every other week, two trips to Carle were required for Fischer to receive the medication. One visit to the lab for a blood draw and two days later Fischer returned to the doctor’s office to receive the injection. Oliver would often need to take a half day from work to accomplish this and was constantly concerned her aunt might fall when transferring her to the vehicle for transport.
Fortunately, Oliver’s boss, Justin, is not only understanding, but also married to Kelly Parker, MSN, RN, CLC, nurse manager for Carle Mobile Health Services. After making the connection, Parker discovered a blood draw for Fischer could be a simple finger prick every two weeks. Neither Oliver nor Fisher needs to leave the car when they arrive at the Mobile Health Clinic location and Fischer’s needs for the blood draw and medicine injection are met in one trip.
“Time is so valuable especially when you are elderly,” Oliver said. “They are so kind and sweet with her.”
Parker said, “We have many patients who cannot get out of their cars. There are children with developmental delays as well as elderly patients.”
“As medical professionals our work includes providing patient access to health care and accommodating those who need help with mobility challenges,” she said. “We do this for patients all of the time. We take care of them.”
Oliver said they plan to continue visiting the Mobile Health Clinic for her aunt’s needs. “It’s a wonderful, low stress alternative to visiting the hospital or labs. I will look into using it for my father and myself too if possible,” she said.
To learn more about the Mobile Health Clinic services and its scheduled stops, go to https://carle.org/Services/Carle-Mobile-Health-Clinic.