Community Paramedics Make House Calls and Change Lives
Ottawa Citizen.com | Elizabeth Payne | Aug 21, 2019
Maria Makkos greets Stephanie Rose at the front door of Makkos’s Arnprior apartment building.
“You are here to see me?” she asks, grinning broadly as she leads the community paramedic to her tidy unit.
Over her shoulder, Rose, the paramedic, carries a heavy black bag containing a blood pressure cuff, equipment for drawing blood, papers and other medical equipment.
Makkos, 82, is the third client the community paramedic has seen this morning.
Rose checks Makkos’s blood pressure, which is high. When they sort through her medication, Rose discovers the elderly woman hasn’t been taking it regularly.
“You are busted, I caught you red-handed,” says Rose with a laugh and a wag of the finger.
Makkos, who still drives and walks to stay fit, says she is determined to remain healthy so she doesn’t have to go into the hospital.
“Don’t’ worry, that is the last place we want you to be,” says Rose. “We are going to help you stay here, but we just want to make sure you are safe.” Taking her medicine on time, she tells Makkos, is crucial to staying healthy and in her own home.
Before she leaves, Makkos wistfully jokes that she wants Rose’s visit to last all day.
In a role reminiscent of a family doctor doing house calls, Rose visits clients to check on their health and just to chat. The conversations, sprinkled with laughter, are as important as the testing to determine what people need to remain independent and as healthy as possible, she says. Read more