One of the priorities at Actionmarguerite is resident comfort. Comfort not only in the residents’ rooms and the common areas, but also with the equipment that residents use on a daily basis for mobility.
Hence, the importance of Rehabilitation Services. In St. Boniface, two occupational therapists, three physiotherapists, and four rehabilitation assistants work to help residents live as independently as possible. Although each of their role varies, all of their tasks are important and contribute to the residents’ well-being. “As soon as a new resident arrives, we meet with them to determine their equipment needs,” explains Stéfanie Prince, an occupational therapist. “We make the necessary adaptations so that they have as much autonomy as possible.”
Within Rehabilitation Services, the physiotherapy department looks after resident mobility and transfers.
“We work on general physical maintenance and mobility, and offer physiotherapy classes three times a week with individualized programs,” adds Victoria Drapete, also a physiotherapist.
A broad range of techniques is available to better serve residents. Rehabilitation Services has also just acquired a SciFit machine, which works the arms, legs, and torso in a seated position. Each month, to our satisfaction, many residents use physiotherapy services, and occupational therapy.
Rehabilitation Services is also responsible for splints and equipment. Properly adjusted equipment makes a big difference. “I remember some of the residents using manual wheelchairs and having a very hard time getting around by themselves,” says Prince. “We gave them electric wheelchairs. A whole new world opened up for them when they were able to move around on their own. It was great to see.”
It’s not only big adjustments that help. Minor adjustments can make a difference as well, like providing a different type of seat cushion and base or lowering the wheelchair so that the residents can touch their feet to the ground. “It seems like a small detail but it’s huge,” says Prince.
The occupational therapist recalls the story of a paralyzed resident. “She could barely move. We installed a sip-and-puff switch so that she could direct her chair on her own. Thanks to the new equipment, she became sociable. She could go see others and take part in activities.”
The rehabilitation teams work hard to promote resident autonomy but families also have a role to play in making progress. “One of our young adults came in with a hip problem that was so bad he could hardly sit. We worked with him and now he’s able to walk about 200 feet with the help of a walker. His family participated in the program and that really helped him in his recovery. Having the support of loved ones can be very motivating,” says Drapete.