In 1889, a group of community volunteers founded the Denver Flower Mission to take flowers and food to the sick and poor of Denver. Recognizing the need for nursing services provided in the home, they hired their first nurse, Hattie. The organization was originally incorporated as the Visiting Nurse Association of Denver (VNA) in 1902 and is now Colorado's oldest home health care agency.
Today, Colorado VNA has four main services:
1) Home Health Care - provider ordered, skilled nursing, therapies, and medical social work that support people recovering from illness or injuries/surgery.
2) Palliative Care - specialized care that addresses the effects of treatment by offering relief from symptoms and management of stress.
• Emotional support and Counseling
• Pain and symptom management
• Bereavement Support
3) Hospice - a continuum of end-of-life care for patients and their families. The team's comprehensive approach focuses on the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs of each patient and their families.
4) Community Wellness - clinics that emphasize health promotion, such as foot care, and disease prevention for ambulatory seniors. The organization also performs immunizations for indigent elderly, though greater numbers of seniors' vaccinations are covered by insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare.
CAPABLE (Community Aging in Place-Advancing Better Living for Elders)
CAPABLE is a home visitation program for older adults developed by Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Over the course of 10 visits, six with an occupational therapist and four with a nurse, clients identify self-care goals such as walking to the mailbox, doing laundry, or showering that they would like to address for improved functioning, and to live safely and independently at home. Based on the client's independence goals and their living situation, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver also plays a role by implementing minor home modifications such as safety bar installation and floor repair. Colorado VNA's CAPABLE program seeks to demonstrate that modest investments in short-term interventions can help older adults remain in their homes longer, improve health outcomes, and decrease medical costs.