A New Kind of Rehab Helps You Heal So You Can Go Home Again
For the past few weeks, we've talked about how we can make important changes in our homes so that we can continue living there independently as we grow older. Maybe you've even done what might be called an aging in place remodel – planning for the years ahead.
Sometimes plans can be disrupted by common aging issues, illness, injury or an accident requiring surgery or even serious medical attention. After one of these medical issues occurs, you may need extra physical help, such as short-term rehab, before heading home.
A new short-term rehabilitation approach has been introduced by LifeStream Complete Senior Living that reinvents rehab to offer it in a real-home environment. The Short-Term Rehab Home at LifeStream was designed with 10 private, bedroom suites. Each room has a private bath and walk-in shower. The 10 rooms surround a large great room with a full-size kitchen and dining area. The new rehab home offers one-on-one therapy, seven days-a-week. Short-term rehab stays are generally 7-21 days.
The goal of rehab in a "real home environment" is that guests get to practice their normal, daily activities – instead of pretending from a hospital room. Everything from walking up and down stairs to taking a shower to going for a walk outside – all real-home activities are incorporated into their recovery care plan. The whole house is designed to create real-home therapy.
"If it's part of their real home life, it's part of their therapy," said Donna Taylor, Chief Operating Officer of LifeStream. "Guests of the rehab home return to their own home feeling more confident and comfortable, having practiced their personal routine as part of their recovery."
Even the kitchen is designed to be a rehab learning experience. When a guest is staying in the home, they can get practice cooking meals, standing at a stove, and even washing dishes. Same with the backyard where rehab guests can practice walking and standing on different kinds of terrain – from grass to gravel, for example. Each bedroom also has its own bathroom with grab bars and a walk-in shower where personal care is practiced.
Each of the 10 private bedroom suites are named for one of Arizona's scenic spots like Oak Creek, Mooney Falls or Havasupai Falls, to name a few -- and has a picture of that site hanging above the bed. Doorways all through the property are big enough for wheelchairs or walkers.
The home has a therapy room where guests can exercise or lift weights, while supervised by a therapist. Guests also practice on balance pads – a likely therapy possibility for those who have undergone knee surgery recently, for example.
If necessary, the care team can provide advice on modifications guests may want to consider when they return home. For example, they may need to consider changes to their floor coverings, guard rails for stairs, adding hand-bars to a shower or bathroom, how the furniture is arranged, and more.
LifeStream spent months remodeling one of its existing buildings at their LifeStream at Youngtown community, near Sun City, according to Taylor. There are some of these new-style rehab facilities being built elsewhere in the United States, but LifeStream's is a first for Arizona. In the future, the organization hopes to develop more of these rehab homes.
No one really likes the recovery time required after surgery or an illness, especially when it has to be in a care center. LifeStream's new Short-Term Rehab Home offers an improved rehab experience.
"We've dreamed about creating this experience for rehab guests for a long time," Taylor said, "we're so excited to bring this real-home rehab concept to life."
About LifeStream Complete Senior Living:
LifeStream is a nonprofit, faith-based senior living organization that serves hundreds of Arizona senior residents across four locations in North and West Phoenix. Since its founding in 1978, LifeStream has continued to grow and advance the kinds of living and care options it offers to seniors including independent and assisted living options, and skilled nursing care, memory support and short-term rehabilitation.
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