The Transitional Care Suite for Therapy: Excellence in Innovation
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In the specially designed Transitional Care Suite in the Bolger Gym & Wellness Center, patients work side-by-side with occupational and physical therapists in preparation to return home or to independent living. The suite features a fully functional kitchen, bedroom, laundry room, living room, and bathroom to provide patients a chance to relearn daily activities in a safe environment, under the guidance of their therapists, in a space that resembles home. The Transitional Care Suite allows patients to clearly see the focus and purpose of the skilled treatments and it helps them take an active role in creating their treatment plan, as well as long- and short-term rehab goals.
For post-surgical patients or for those with new assistive devices, the challenges of activities of daily living can be daunting: walking over rugs, putting fitted sheets on a bed, getting in and out of bathtubs, turning knobs, opening heavy doors, and going up and down steps. In the Transitional Care Suite, therapists are able to provide more functional-based treatments for patients in preparation for discharge. In the kitchen, patients are able to focus on meal-preparation skills from start to finish, including cleaning up with the dishwasher, mop, and vacuum, as well as setting and clearing a table. Additionally, they can work on cognitive skills, such as recipe reading and preparing grocery lists. In the bedroom, patients can practice bed-mobility skills on a regular bed rather than a hospital bed. They can work on changing bed linens, and washing, sorting, and putting away laundry in the closet and dresser. The bathroom offers both a walk-in shower, as well as a tub-and-shower combo so patients can practice shower transfers with whatever style shower they have at home.
The design team for the Transitional Care Suite wanted to provide a space within the Bolger Gym & Wellness Center that afforded privacy and felt like home. Input was solicited from current and former patients. The design replicates the comforts of home, as well as the challenges found at home following a hospitalization.
The suite is also beneficial for family and caregiver education. The short-term rehab staff can help train caregivers in order to plan for discharge and a safe transition back home. Staff provides education on the proper placement of items such as grab bars, as well as different types of durable medical equipment that is available for patients when they return home. Staff also trains caregivers if patients are unable to return home independently, so the continuum of care is followed upon discharge.
Functional-based treatments help to improve the carryover from the sub-acute setting to home. Therapists are better able to gage the level at which patients will be able to perform tasks at home based on the level they are able to perform them in the Transitional Care Suite. It also helps therapists to assess whether patients are truly independent with an activity, or whether help may be needed at home. When the level at which patients will perform at home can be more accurately assessed, therapists can put measures and help into place to keep them at home safely and decrease the occurrence of re-hospitalization.