In January 2020, Video Visit® virtual care was introduced in the municipality of Muhos, Finland, where home care nurses visit clients via video connection. 4000 virtual visits have already been made.
“The video phone is very nice. My children and the home care nurse use it. It says beep beep beep and when I press the green ball with my thump the video comes on”, says Marjatta Seppänen, 83.
In virtual care, the caregiver starts a video connection to the tablet at the client’s home. Marjatta Seppänen is visited both physically and virtually. Marjatta says that she has been a nurse and a nursing teacher herself. “I am familiar with eye drops and other procedures”.
Safety and care while living at home
The aim of the services targeted for the elderly is to support independent life at home by providing personal care, support and support services. The elderly care strategy is one of the key areas for the municipality of Muhos. Its mission is to provide the elderly population with the services they need, with a focus on preventive actions, while being founded on the true needs of the elderly as equal individuals (Municipality of Muhos website).
Sanna Paakkola, home care service manager, says that Video Visit’s video phone is used to ask about the client’s well-being, monitor medication intake, measure blood pressure and blood sugar, and guide meal time preparations. This way the client’s ability to function is being supported. She continues that the goal is to further develop, for example, stimulating activities, such as physiotherapist-led exercising.
“The home care nurse asks how I am doing and how I slept. The same questions that were asked on the phone before. Mainly the concern is as I am alone here, they want to be sure that everything is okay. The nurse also sees that I don’t talk nonsense”, laughs Marjatta Seppänen.
Tuula Niska, the director of elderly care at the municipality of Muhos, elaborates that being able to live safely at home is significant. “While cost savings are considered, I think that most importantly the content and quality of the service go hand in hand with that. Not everything can be measured with money. It is essential that the client feels safe at home”, says Tuula.
Joy from staying connected with relatives
In Marjatta Seppänen’s home, there is a series of photos of her children and grandchildren. Marjatta’s daughter lives close and visits her mother. The boys live near Helsinki. Marjatta is very happy that she is able to stay connected with her family via video connection. She says that she is very delighted that she can see the growth of a small baby via video connection as well. Marjatta feels that her children do not need to be so worried about her because she has the tablet.
In particular during the coronavirus era, relatives appreciate that they too can stay connected with their loved ones via Video Visit’s video phone.
Successful start of a new service
According to Sanna Paakkola, service manager, the video phone diversifies home care services. “We are able to provide our clients with a much wider service array. Virtual care is suitable for clients with different conditions, and it can even be used in the repatriation phase to support home care. Despite the challenging situation and lack of resources last spring, the staff has adopted the service well and their experiences have been positive.” Eija Kokko, virtual care expert (Senior Specialist, Virtual Care) from Video Visit praises home care nurses in Muhos: “I am very proud of them because despite the challenging spring, they implemented the service excellently”.
In Muhos, the aim was to invest in the introduction of remote care in order to ensure that the service would be implemented well. As a result, they introduced Video Visit’s professional service. “It has paid off – we have received a lot of help, satisfied clients and relatives”, says Sanna Paakkola. Virtual care was introduced in the beginning of January this year, and the goal was to get 10 % of home care clients to start using the service. By having a good plan, being active and maintaining a positive attitude, the goals have been greatly exceeded. There has been no desire to reduce physical visits as remote care was meant to increase the provided services.
Kirsi Valli, service manager and elderly care professional, says that clients have been excited about Video Visit’s video phone, and the concept has been received well. A motivated team has encouraged the clients to start using it. “I am happy for the clients. Our staff has been very enthusiastic about this. Thanks to them, the clients are satisfied – which is a great thing”, says Kirsi.
“Once the clients became used to the video phone, they no longer wanted to stop using it. Everyone has been pleased with it after the initial challenges with learning to use the phone were overcome. Now clients look forward to the video call. There has been no negative feedback.”
Service manager and elderly care professional
Muhos invests in the future
Tuula Niska, the director of elderly care in Muhos, thanks the Municipal Social and Health Board. The board has enabled the development of home care using health technology. Merja Honkanen, the director of social and health affairs, understood the significance of the start of the remote care project and provided an opportunity to receive help: without Eija Kokko’s expertise, the introduction of remote care would not have gone smoothly in Muhos.
“Have a nice day, Marjatta! Say hi to Viiru cat!” wishes Sanna Paakkola.
“Thank you, Viiru happens to be outside now”, says Marjatta Seppänen.
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