Billings, Montana – According to a research conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than one million persons aged 65 and older may have trouble getting the Covid-19 vaccine because they are housebound.
According to the report, 80 percent of elderly homebound seniors have mobility issues, requiring assistance even to go outdoors.
However, in Billings, there is a service that allows individuals to receive the vaccine in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. Riverstone Health has offered an in-home vaccination service since the vaccines were first made available.
“So far, we have done over 200 Covid vaccines, whether it’s their first start of the vaccine or booster shots,” the program manager for homecare at Riverstone Health, Kandra Diefenderfer said.
Riverstone is only providing this service to homebound clients who have requested a vaccine through their doctors. Nurses can be in homes the next day once a request is made, according to Diefenderfer.
“So, it depends on the need of the patient and when my nurse is available. Sometimes we can even go out the following day if the patient is available or the family caregiver is available. If they don’t need for it the following week we can get that available to them, but for the most part we have been able to get them vaccinated that same week,” said Diefenderfer.
According to Diefenderfer, the program is being used lot more since more people are eligible for the booster shot.
“In fact, it’s been really picking up this past month and a half and since we have all of the booster shots available, all three of them, we have been seeing an influx for all of our homebound patients we see in the community,” she said.
Diefenderfer also claims that the patients are thankful for the nurses’ assistance.
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