Watching a resident who has for months shuffled along in a wheelchair suddenly stand and begin taking steps will put a smile on anyone’s face.
It’s akin to watching a baby take their first steps. They know they have accomplished something big and you know it’s the first of many more accomplishments to come. A step is a small thing but it symbolizes a complete change in a resident’s physical ability level, confidence and often attitude.
The Bethany Home Association restorative department works daily to help residents meet and retain their optimal physical ability level.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, “Restorative care is a philosophy of care that focuses on restoring and maintaining nursing home residents at their highest possible functional and physical status, given underlying conditions.”
Many people believe encouraging aging adults to relearn standing, walking and other skills puts them at risk for “falls and associated trauma.” But Bethany Home believes – and research has proven – that restoring physical ability helps residents become stronger, more confident and at a low risk for falls and trauma. Not all nursing homes offer restorative care.
Bethany Home’s restorative services include both one-on-one work and group exercise classes. The department’s basement space offers a variety of toys and activities that couple fun and physical activity. With work and assistance, residents who previously used only a wheelchair can begin walking with a walker for short distances or begin to put on their own shoes again. They are small milestones but always wonderful to watch.