Submitted by Stephanie Argyle, COTA and Kyle Fairchild, OTR, ADOR
Whether a patient comes to St. Joseph Villa for a rehab stay due to a fall, a recent injury, a surgical procedure or other medical conditions, we aim to include each individual in our discharge planning group as they approach discharge. Our goal is to educate our patients in ways to improve safety, improve energy conservation and improve self-awareness as they prepare to return home. Each group member is given a packet of written information, which includes a home safety checklist, pictures of adaptive equipment and links for ordering, and home exercises. We change our handouts based on the needs of our patients at the time.
Our DC Planning Group objectives are as follows:
- To identify barriers to discharge with a focus on current functional barriers
- Education in home safety, home modifications, DME needed for safety in the home
- Education in community resources for home safety
- Education in self-awareness and techniques to facilitate relaxation and awareness of your body at rest
- Education in the purpose of home health services and benefits of continuing therapy at home and as an outpatient
So many of our patients have expressed gratitude and appreciation as they learn from one of our OTs or COTAs AND from one another about adaptive equipment, techniques and strategies to improve their lives. One patient commented after attending the group, “I was so worried about falling in my bathroom. What you’ve taught me will make things much safer and easier — it will change my life!” We have allowed family members to attend our group, which has helped them learn how to better care for and support their loved ones. Overall, this education group has been a valuable addition and rewarding experience for both our patients and therapists!