Nurses Play Critical Role in Keeping Older Adults Out of Hospitals & Nursing Homes

Nancy Baker and Barbara Scothorn share a single mission as nurses: keeping seniors out of hospitals and nursing homes.

That mission is at the heart of their employer’s approach to health care. Both work for Care Resources, an innovative community-based program for people 55 years and older that promotes healthy and independent living for residents of Kent County and portions of Allegan, Barry, Ionia and Ottawa counties.

“We always know the nurse’s primary role is education,” explained Baker, who serves as clinic and day center manager for Care Resources.

“Nurses are there to work with a participant and help them meet their goal, which is staying in their home and out of the hospital. It’s a partnership. We work with participants and their families to provide wrap-around services that supplement what they are able to do,” added Scothorn, manager of home care and intake enrollment for Care Resources,

Baker and Scothorn highlight simple things loved ones can do to ensure older adults can be safe at home, including:

  • Ongoing education to help better manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes, or disease progression for illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and heart failure.
  • Meal preparation, such as stocking their freezers with meals they like and to improve their nutrition.
  • Transportation support to ensure they can get to their medical and other appointments.
  • Social support and a safe place to go during the day, such as the Care Resources Day Center, for stimulation and engagement – and to give caregivers a needed break.

“These are great steps to help older adults stay healthy and remain in their homes,” Scothorn said. “Nurses can provide an additional layer of support. We are often the first to notice changes and issues – we’re trained to watch and take action to help community members age safely in place.”

Click here to read more on how to support your loved one and the services Care Resources offer to their participants.

Last updated 07.13.2023 I H5610_WEB

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