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Patient Stories

HomeMD Caring for and Keeping Patients Safe at Home

Chester Buras, 90, and his wife Eleanor, 95, have been married since 1958 and lived in Salem for 46 years. For the last six years, they’ve lived in their “L.L. Bean cabin,” on their daughter’s property in Swampscott because Eleanor had started developing cognitive challenges and mobility issues from osteoporosis and the single-level living is ideal for her.

We had been going in to see our doctor every six months for general care, but it became challenging for Eleanor to get ready, leave the house, get in the car and walk to the doctor’s office from the parking lot and back again,” Chester said. “On top of that, sitting in the waiting room caused anxiety for Eleanor. She also felt like she wasn’t getting the attention she needed because the doctor was always on his computer, and that really bothered her. We needed something different.”

In early 2020, Chester learned of HomeMD, Care Dimensions’ in-home primary care practice, through his community center and immediately enrolled Eleanor. After he saw the service his wife was getting, he signed himself up, too. “We call HomeMD to come see us as needed, which I think is the beauty of it. We get all the services we need right at home. How could you not love it? This kind of medical attention is necessary for my generation right now, when our biggest problem is just old age and mobility.”

“It’s so much easier for us to come to the patient’s home versus exposing them to the increased risks of leaving home. Telehealth has become an important tool for many healthcare providers during the pandemic, but virtual visits don’t work for full exams,” says Mark Messenger, MD, medical director of the HomeMD primary care program.

“Especially during COVID-19, there has been even greater demand for additional safe, easy access to primary care services for patients who are medically fragile, suffer from memory loss or have complex medical conditions,” added Dr. Messenger. “We now do hospital post-discharge visits within two days of patients leaving the hospital to make sure they’re stable and taking the prescribed medications at the right dosage and time. Over the past year, even with all the COVID safety precautions and restrictions that closed many physician practices, the HomeMD team never skipped a beat; we kept seeing patients in their homes to keep them safe.”

“Dr. Messenger is very responsive and gives Eleanor the attention she needs, even on nights and weekends. We can depend on getting appointments and prescriptions quickly,” Chester said. “Before HomeMD, if I needed primary care I wouldn’t know when I’d get to see a doctor. We don’t have to think about it anymore. We’re just so lucky. I recommended HomeMD to a friend whose wife also had difficulty getting out of the house. He transferred both of them to HomeMD, and he’s been very pleased with the service he’s been getting.”

Every three months, Dr. Messenger sees Chester and Eleanor for wellness and medication checks and the occasional blood draws for labs, and he’s only a call away for sick visits if necessary. “Regular appointments are important for aging patients, especially if they live by themselves. Many times, they might put off calling or not recognize important symptoms or changes, that I can pick up through regular visits,” Dr. Messenger says. “Early identification of issues and regular monitoring is essential to keeping aging patients out of the hospital and at home, where they want to be.”

Learn more about in-home primary care by visiting the HomeMD section of our website. 

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Since 1978, Care Dimensions, formerly Hospice of the North Shore,  has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in over 100 communities in Massachusetts.

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