~ District Nursing ~
On Saturday, September 12, Sint Maarten observed Caribbean Wellness Day – a day established by Caricom since 2007 for awareness and promotion of physical activity throughout the nation. Due to weather conditions, the events scheduled for this day were postponed until September 19.
Caribbean Wellness Day 2015 activities will focus on the elderly with the theme "Improving the quality of life of the region's ageing population." In light of this theme, the Ministry of VSA, Windward Islands Physical Therapist Association (WIPTA) and White Yellow Cross Foundation came together to organize a day of activities in St. John's Estate. The focus is on persons 60 years of age and older. There will be a variety of sports activities, and participants will be tested on their level of physical abilities by WIPTA.
District Nursing is a department of White Yellow Cross Foundation. The nurses working in this department are the ones who take care of the clients in their home environment. Clients are therefore able to stay at home and receive care customized to their needs in their own environment.
What is striking within the District Nursing client population is the increasing number of clients who suffer from diabetes and hypertension. At this moment, about 60% is diabetic and some 70% suffers from hypertension. In most cases, it's a combination of both diabetes and hypertension. Results from research show that regular exercise and weight loss have a positive effect on both diabetes and hypertension. Therefore, District Nursing supports and will be involved in the Caribbean Wellness Day celebration on September 19.
The District Nursing team serves an average of 150 clients per week. The care varies from support with a daily bath, to wound care, to medication and vital-signs controls. We also provide care to clients that are terminally ill. A fairly new product is homecare. This entails care to clients who need support with light cleaning in the house, cooking and laundry; also, the homecare nurse can transport the client to the doctor's office. When requested, the homecare nurse also runs errands and does the grocery shopping for the client.