Jean Tantillo's Story: First Day Home Program Bridges the Gap between Hospital and Home

At 85 years “young,” fearlessly independent Jean was fortunate to have good health on her side. In the spring of 2013; however, her health took an unexpected turn while mourning the loss of her late daughter, and she was subsequently taken to South Shore Hospital, diagnosed with acute renal failure.

Her other daughter, Debbie Nicell, a nurse of 30 years, knew that being discharged from the hospital back to independent living would initially be a challenge for her mom, and that she would likely find medication instructions confusing.

To ease Jean’s transition, South Shore Health's Home Care Division arranged for her to benefit from our donor-funded “First Day Home” program. The program supports patients 60 years of age and older to make the transition from hospital to home seamless by offering a free home visit by a registered nurse during that first 24 hours of discharge.

Lynn MacDonald, RN, was Jean’s First Day Home nurse and visited her home to assess its safety, review her medications — assuring her prescriptions were filled — and checking cabinets to be certain they were well-stocked with essentials.

“We leave a patient’s home feeling confident that they are not only safe and comfortable for the night, but also hopeful that we’ve helped dramatically reduce the likelihood of hospital readmission,” Lynn said.

“When a patient leaves the safety of a hospital or long-term care environment, the re-entrance to their home can often be met with confusion and fear,” said Marita Carpenter, president of the Social Service League of Cohasset. “If we can help during those first 24 hours home, the transition becomes that much easier.”

First Day Home visit includes:

  • Nursing, home and safety assessment (including vital sign checkup).
  • Review hospital discharge instructions.
  • Medication review and reconciliation.
  • Arrangement for pickup and pre-fill of medications for day of hospital discharge and day after.
  • Assure that there is an adequate supply of food in the home.
  • Prepare a meal and/or pick up a meal donated by Panera Bread.
  • Help patient get in pajamas and prepare for bed.

To learn more about our First Day Home Program, call Questions (781) 624-7090.