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at home benefit from maintaining control over their everyday lives, and experience an increased sense of wellbeing by staying close to loved ones and pets. This is preferable to families scheduling their lives around visits to a residential home, which unavoidably results in the sufferer becoming distanced from ‘normal family life’.”

Real Lives:

How live-in care works Four years ago, 60-year-old Mrs Smith from Northamptonshire was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a form of Motor Neurone Disease.

From the initial diagnosis, Mrs Smith’s condition deteriorated rapidly and following an admission to hospital with respiratory failure, she had a tracheostomy inserted and intermittent BIPAP ventilation was initiated. She also has a PEG tube.

Despite the severity of her condition, the patient was determined that she would not receive institutional nursing care and her husband was fully supportive of her desire to remain at home. Having discussed the situation with the hospital staff, their local GP and Primary Care Trust, Mrs Smith’s husband applied to the NHS Continuing Care Fund. As a live- in nursing provider, Consultus was recommended to the family.

Initially the patient’s husband spoke to a Consultus nurse consultant and a detailed Care Needs Assessment and Care Plan were agreed. The nurse consultant also liaised with the hospital to ensure that she had a complete understanding of the patient’s medical condition, her needs and requirements. The first Consultus nurse received a handover from the hospital staff on the day of Mrs Smith’s discharge.

A rota providing continuity of care was set up with each Consultus nurse working two weeks on and two weeks off. The patient has built up a very good relationship with both her nurses based on mutual trust. Although communication is challenging for Mrs Smith, as she

is unable to speak, she uses a light writer and the Consultus nurses are able to understand many instructions and to anticipate her needs.

Each day, the nurse assists Mrs Smith with all her personal care and administers nutrition, fluids and medication via the PEG. The nurse also maintains and suctions the tracheostomy, and administers oxygen either via nasal prongs or via BIPAP, as required. The nurse sets up the BIPAP and monitors its effectiveness, liaising closely with the Respiratory Unit at the hospital when necessary.

Everyday living with MND can take its toll on both the sufferer and their loved ones. By taking on multiple tasks, our nurses dedicate themselves to helping everyone deal with the illness and support them in their own home as the disease progresses.

Glowing Results The patient’s husband is delighted with the service and the way in which it has not only fulfilled his wife’s wishes, but also offered him the peace of mind of round the clock professional nursing support. The nurses have built up good working relationships with the patient’s GP, District Nurse, Dietician and Community Physiotherapist, all of whom will visit as required.

The patient has now drawn up an Advanced Directive which expresses her wishes to be nursed at home in the final stages of her disease.

Could you be a live-in nurse? If you have had experience as an NHS nurse or in private care and would like to offer one to one care to someone in their own home, live-in nursing could be a good career for you.

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