Seniors more independent,
comfortable following assessments
Residents benefit from regular support from occupational therapist
The ability to be mobile when they can't
verbally communicate their needs is having a significant impact
on residents' independence and self-esteem at a rural long-term
As a result of having an occupational therapist
(OT) in the home on a regular basis, Temiskaming Lodge residents
are benefitting in many ways, says administrator Francine Gosselin.
"The benefits of OT assessments are multifold,"
"Having an ambulatory aide that is personalized
to the resident has sometimes made the difference between being
dependent on staff to being independent when he or she is able to
self-propel a wheelchair that is the right height and width,"
"This enhances dignity, comfort and the ability
to attend more activities and socialize."
The OT works closely with Sheila Mills, restorative
care co-ordinator at the 82-bed Haileybury home.
As a result of the assessments, some residents
are using modified or new mobility aides that better suit their
individual needs, which in some cases, allows residents to move
around more freely. Exercise helps improve muscle tone and stimulates
appetite, Mills says.
"Families love to see their loved ones moving
around," the restorative care co-ordinator also notes.
In addition, appropriate cushioning on the seat
of the chair is promoting circulation and improving skin integrity,
she adds. There are safety benefits associated with having personalized
Mills says prior to having the OT in the home,
staff members did their best to ensure residents were in the most
suitable equipment but "you could tell they were uncomfortable
and not able to move throughout the (home) independently. Those
were concerns for us."
Mills has a background working as an occupational therapy assistant.
"I could identify the needs."
Gosselin then approached the local Community Care
Access Centre again with residents' assessment needs.
During the past five months or so, more than two dozen residents
have benefitted from seeing the OT.
Eighteen or so are still waiting for assessment. "It's a process
that continues," Mills says.
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