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The Waist Pack Story

“Make a Difference” is a corporate responsibility that iCare Home Health lives on a daily basis. “It is part of our DNA” says Rick Menassa President of iCare Home Health. So when iCare Home Health heard from Barb Caccamo, Geriatric Nurse at Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital in Oakville, ON with her vision on how to improve the visit experience of seniors and older adults at the hospital. “we were thrilled to help make it a reality” says Menassa..

The waist pack story started when Barb observed that seniors were coming to the hospital for a procedure and in many cases, they were forgetting one or more of their assistive aids (hearing aids, glasses, and/ or dentures). “The waist pack was thought of as a way to have the patient’s personal aids with them for better communication and to decrease any confusion they might have without their aids” says Caccamo.

Even if they did bring these items with them, from time to time these items would be misplaced or left behind while the patient travelled throughout the hospital. Unable to carry on with some basic needs at the hospital made their stay uncomfortable and unpleasant. There was also the additional stress of possible replacement costs for lost items as well as personal distress for misplaced items of a personal nature such as a watch or necklace.. It created a major client satisfaction issue for both the senior and the hospital!

A need and pain point was clearly identified by Barb and her team members, As a next step, a series of brain storming sessions were held by Barb and her team. This resulted in the idea of creating some form of a pouch that would collect the aids together. It should stay on the person throughout the hospital journey – from the point of admission through to discharge. The idea of having an attachable body strap and clip was also discussed. In case it was misplaced, it should also be personalized with the name and address of the owner and at the same time ensuring maximum privacy of information. A brightly coloured pouch to locate easily would also be a bonus! The solution was a pouch in the form of a waist pack that would allow the patient to wear it in transit to avoid misplacing or forgetting it somewhere.

Funding this bright idea to make it a reality was the final missing hurdle! Enter iCare Home Health. “As part of our Make a Difference program, we were pleased to fund the newly created Waist Packs for Seniors program” says Menassa. The hospital committee and the iCare Home Health team worked together to determine the proper measurements, and name tag placement, all with the patient’s privacy in mind. The cases were custom designed. Enough were made to distribute among senior homes and residences in Oakville. The waist pack would be sent from the Long Term Facility or Retirement Home with the patient’s personal aids inside as part of the home to hospital Pre-Admission transfer kit.

iCare Home Health provides the packs at no cost to the seniors in our community and is pleased to be part of a solution to a problem that adversely affected some of the patients experience at the hospital.

ABOUT iCare Home Health – iCare Home Health is a private boutique home health care company operating in the Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Georgetown, Mississauga and Toronto communities. iCare Home Health is also a member of the Ontario Home Care Association (OHCA) and provides a wide range of home health care services including Companion, Personal Support, Nursing and Handyman at Home services. In support of the iCare philosophy of “Making a Difference” in our communities, iCare Home Health is active in supporting local hospital fundraising events, and most recently was actively involved in sponsoring community awareness events in support of Seniors’ Month.

For more information about iCare Home Health services, please visit www.icarehomehealth.ca,

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact: iCare Home Health Public Relations 905-491-6941 pr@icarehomehealth.ca

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