Generations of my family – father, uncles, and grandfathers – have worked the Appalachian coalfields. There is a history of mining in Tennessee, and the men of my family were proud participants. My dad was honored to fulfill the family tradition in a Tennessee mine, but now he has COPD – a chronic, progressive disease that affects his breathing. Once diagnosed, my dad was too proud to admit that he needed help – until his health, nutrition, and home environment began to decline. We knew that home care in Knoxville was his best option, and learned that Hand N Hand Home Health Care offered skilled nursing and medical assistance right at home.

After an initial assessment determined dad’s needs, we were assigned a home caregiver, Judi, who was perfect for him. Judi was a professionally trained registered nurse (RN), military veteran, and Tennessee Titans fan. They had a lot to discuss!

Judi taught us that while COPD can be life-changing, skilled nursing care at home can help manage symptoms and treatments. Judi was there to help with breathing exercises, oxygen, and equipment maintenance. She also monitored dad’s vital signs and was qualified to perform blood draws and injections when ordered by his physician. Once dad’s doctor prescribed IV fluids to help him overcome dehydration; Judi was able to hook up the IV right there, at home.

Just as importantly, having Knoxville home care meant that dad would receive the nutrition and hydration he needed to function properly. Judi helped to prepare meals and snacks (even make-ahead meals to freeze for a rainy day). She helped keep his home free from allergens, like dust and pet dander, essential for better breathing.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as wheezing, a productive cough that won’t go away, and shortness of breath – see your doctor right away. Especially if you were once a coal miner. Your doctor will provide a diagnosis and treatment options.

If your family, like mine, has a rich history of coal mining and understands the health hazards, know that you are not alone. We sought help from Hand N Hand Home Health Care, and so can you. We know that dad is safe, comfortable and where he wants to be, right at home, near his grandkids, his dogs, and his collection of WW II memorabilia.

Learn more about skilled nursing in your home. Call Hand N Hand Home Health Care at (865) 685-0597.