Health Coaching – Helen’s story

Last Updated May 23, 2022

Following a cancer diagnosis, Helen, 68, a former education counselor at the University of Arkansas, moved to California to be closer to her son and daughter. She was recently hospitalized for pain on her left side and a fever, which were determined to be the result of treatment she is receiving in a clinical trial for an immuno-therapy program. Helen also experienced a minor stroke in September 2015. Coach Priscilla met with her in the presence of her daughter, Denise, shortly after Helen returned home. Following the collection of medication information for HomeMeds and a home safety assessment, Denise requested information about meal delivery programs and cancer support counseling. “Denise was concerned about her mom not eating properly on the

days when she’s not at the Culver City Senior Center, so I provided contact details for the local Meals on Wheels service and Project Angel Food. Denise also wants to get her mom into some counseling, to help her deal with the stress of her cancer diagnosis and treatment. I was able to give her details of a Cancer Community support group, and also showed her how to access her hospital’s health calendar for upcoming support groups.” Priscilla also spoke with Helen and Denise about setting up an advance directive, and provided them with an informational packet. “Helen was also interested in doing more to manage her health, so I referred her to the CA Healthier Living website which has listings of health self-management workshops across the city.”

Priscilla recently checked in with Denise, to see how her mom is doing. Helen is recovering well and has started cooking for herself again. Denise said, “Thank you for calling me. There’s been excellent progress since the home visit. Having this service during the period when mom came out of the hospital made me feel so much better. It’s good to know it exists.”

Partners in Care Foundation uses “patient activation” models of health coaching to provide tailored support dependent on a patient’s knowledge, skills, ability, and willingness to manage his or her own health and care. Some patients are self-starters and all they need is connection to resources, while others need information, motivation and follow-up to close the gap. Here is the tenth in a series of stories about patients who have received health coaching over recent months. All names have been changed to protect patient confidentiality.

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