Rehabilitation tips for seniors
Have a smooth transition as you head home for your recovery.
The myth that ageing comes with a lot of pitfalls is one that needs to be changed. Health sciences and advances in technologies have proven that one can age well with optimal exercise and good nutrition. Nonetheless, one cannot deny the call of nature that sometimes, conditions like strokes and incidents such as falls can occur. However, this should not be a deterrent for one to lead or continue living their lives with fulfilment.
By improving their general health and mobility, physical therapy and rehabilitation can help patients regain their confidence and bring them back on their feet. As recovery progresses, planning for a safe and smooth transition home begins. It is critical that each patient returns home feeling strong, to feel empowered to take charge of their continued recovery and being in the know of the assistance and resources they can tap on.
Consider these tips to help prepare for making a smoother transition home after a short-term rehabilitation:
- Request for a home safety assessment
Seniors tend to live in the same house for decades. They often have a sentimental and emotional attachment to their home. Unfortunately, many older houses are not designed with the needs of a senior in mind. Steep edges, poor lighting and difficult-to-access toilets are common. Before you leave the rehab centre, ask if a physical or occupational therapist can conduct a home safety assessment. It can provide you with an objective evaluation of potential hazards that need to be addressed before you return home.
- Goal setting with the rehab team
The rehab team work collaboratively with the client and their family members to ensure that the goals set are functional and optimal to the client’s capacity and capabilities. It is important to adhere to the rehab team’s recommendations to keep your recovery on track.
Inculcating better routines will be done together with your therapists and this depends on your needs. It can range from increasing your walking distances, engaging in cognitive simulation activities or complying with other exercises given by your therapists to eventually attain the goals that was originally set.
- Follow doctor’s orders
When you leave the rehab centre, you will likely do so with discharge instructions. This may include an order for outpatient therapy at other community services such as day rehabilitation or senior care centres. Be sure to comply to these recommendations to facilitate your recovery journey.
- Keep in touch
We understand it can be overwhelming to return home after an illness or surgery. Questions related to your recovery exercises may arise after you and your caregiver have been on your own for a few days. A final tip is to call the rehab centre and leave down your queries when you encounter any questions about your recovery process. Keeping in touch and having a clear idea of what you need to do to continue your recovery is important.
Tele-health rehabilitation, e-services and robots are also transforming the healthcare landscape for the seniors and their caregivers in Singapore in the long-run, shifting the concept of eldercare from hospital to home. Whether they are seniors living at home or in assisted living facilities, the use of assistive technology or specially curated assistive devices for seniors can provide better home care and help seniors stay independent or improve senior care services for caregivers.
Criteria for tele-rehabilitation services
Following an in-person initial assessment, patients will be screened to be identified if they are suitable for tele-rehabilitation. The criteria for tele-rehabilitation encompasses various aspects of the medical stability, functional capabilities of the client and capability of the caregiver(s). This really depends on the initial assessment and it varies from one patient to another.
Through these forms of newer technology, outpatient rehabilitation has become more convenient, with home care now a greater possibility. There is no need for patients to travel out and the waiting time is shortened. While rehabilitation is not without its challenges, good rehabilitation ensures that elderly patients are able to recover smoothly, allowing them to return to their daily lives at a much faster rate. With a renewed level of wellness, seniors are assured the best quality living in their golden years.
** This article is contributed by SATA CommHealth, which offers a wide range of rehabilitation services including occupational therapy and physiotherapy services. The organisation also has tele-consultation and tele-rehabilitation services so seniors who require rehabilitative services can recover in the comfort of their own homes. Its therapists guide patients through the session via an Internet-based video call and assess their progress through data provided by the wearable motion sensors attached to the patients’ limbs. Caregivers can also join in the session remotely through the video-conferencing service.
(** PHOTO CREDITS: SATA CommHealth)