It’s Time to Take the Red Out of your closet…. And Join McLean’s Home Care Team in Supporting American Heart Month This February

Sara Szafranski, Director of McLean Home Care & Hospice, Patricia Adams, Administrator of McLean Home Care & Hospice, Barbara DiPinto, McLean Hospice Clinical Supervisor, and Barbara Evans, Outpatient Rehabilitation and Home Care Supervisor wear red to support heart health in February. Learn more at

Nearly  5 million Americans are currently living with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and approximately 550,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States each year.  Heart Failure is the leading cause of hospitalizations for people over the age of 65.  McLean Home Health Care’s Living with Heart Failure program for homebound patients is aimed at improving overall quality of life while reducing the risk of hospitalization for individuals diagnosed with heart failure.  

Heart failure usually does not mean the heart is truly “failing”.  Typically, the heart’s pumping action is weaker than it should be due to various heart and medical conditions. Most often heart failure is a chronic condition that can be successfully managed with the right medication, nutrition, activity, and detection of early warning signs.  A weak heart typically causes a build-up of body fluid resulting in symptoms such as leg swelling, shortness of breath, and increasing fatigue.   With the right help, a person with Heart Failure can minimize or prevent these discomforts.

McLean’s Living with Heart Failure program is provided by an award-winning team of skilled professionals who make home health care visits. Highly experienced registered nurses (RNs) teach patients how to best use medications, flavor food with less salt to reduce water retention, and recognize early warning signs to report quickly to their healthcare professional.

Often, McLean patients benefit from home based telemonitoring, with easy-to-use bluetooth technology, to transmit information such as daily blood pressure, heart rate, weight, oxygen saturation levels, as well as any key warning signs to the McLean telemonitoring RN in between visits. Physical therapists visit patients at home to tailor exercises to build endurance and exercise tolerance, and occupational therapists provide patient-centered energy conservation advice for activities of daily living.

The professional team, along with a physician, helps patients set goals to reengage in the activities they enjoy, while preventing unnecessary hospital readmissions.   Traditional Medicare and other insurances usually cover the skilled home health care services when ordered by a physician for a person who has difficulty leaving their home due to health limitations.

Madelyn Valence of Simsbury has been a patient at McLean several times, first while recuperating from open heart surgery last February and more recently when she had come down with Pneumonia. She has used telemonitoring to gain independence in tracking her CHF symptoms once she returns home. She speaks highly of her experiences and care.  “I have always had a positive experience at McLean and find everyone to be so nice.  I would certainly come back again if the need arises. The follow up telemonitoring and home care with Nurses, Physical Therapists and Occupation Therapists is excellent.  Everyone at McLean is always very friendly and helpful.”  Valerie Patrina, Home Care RN Clinical Supervisor further elaborated on Valence’s care, “The program has enabled us to monitor Madelyn’s cardiac status, including weight and oxygen levels, from home -- and to send out appropriate care as soon as it’s needed. It has prevented a relapse from occurring and has kept Madelyn from additional hospitalizations.”

For patients experiencing end-stage heart failure, McLean’s experienced professionals offer palliative, or comfort-focused, care within the home care and hospice programs. 

Uncontrolled heart failure contributes to 287,000 deaths each year. Take time this February to learn more about how to recognize the signs and to support awareness by viewing the Qualidigm Heart Talk Video Series, and wearing your red!

For more information on these and other programs offered by McLean Home Care, call (860) 658-3954, or visit

McLean Home Care is honored to be named TOP 500 Home Care Elite in the nation, earning Elite status six times since 2006. This market-leading review, from OCS HomeCare by National Research Corporation and Decision Health, names the top 25 percent of agencies in home health performance measures. The HomeCare Elite also recognizes the Top 100 and Top 500 providers nationwide. - See more at: