Success with Restorative Therapy
When Bill McGraw arrived at the Buchanan County Health Center Long Term Care Unit, he was unable to walk; relying on a nursing aide and a wheelchair for mobility. Now, one year later, Bill is able to walk unassisted, allowing him to go, “wherever I want, whenever I want,” Bill explained.
He credits his improvement to daily workouts with restorative aides Donna Rawson and Stephanie King. Donna and Stephanie, in turn, are quick to credit Bill’s hard work.
“Our goal is to have residents participating in restorative therapy work with us for 45 minutes to 1 hour a day, three to five days a week,” explained Donna Rawson. “Bill is here every day he can be, working, working, working. Hard work like that gets results.”
According to Bill, restorative therapy also makes him feel better and helps fill his day with positive activity.
Rehabilitation services employ restorative aides to help people regain physical function. Restorative nursing care is ongoing and may be provided in long-term care often following rehabilitation. Licensed and paraprofessional staff provides restorative care to preserve a person’s optimum level of functioning and independence, according to “Hartman’s Nursing Assistant Care.”
At BCHC Long Term Care, Donna and Stephanie work with Robyn Ryan, RN, to identify residents who would benefit from rehabilitate and restorative therapy.
“Together, we then put together a program for individual residents, shooting for that 45-minutes-a-day, three-to- five-days-a-week level of total activity,” Donna explained.
Each plan may include time spent on a nu-step exercise machine, isometric exercise for arm strength, walking with assistance from parallel bars, walking the hallways with an aide, and range of motion exercises, among others.
“Many residents enjoy the rehabilitation programming because they can see the results,” Donna Rawson said. “They can see that they are able to do more repetitions of each exercise; they feel stronger and they become much more confident.”
Family members see these improvements as well.
“When Bill got here he couldn’t go anywhere without his wheelchair,” said Evelyn McCalley, a friend. “They started walking with him and his walker. Soon they took the wheelchair away. He became more independent and began walking on his own. He likes therapy and will talk about doing a half-hour on this machine or that. It’s been good for him.”
Donna, who has served as a restorative aide for 4 years, and Stephanie, who has served in the program for 1 year, say they also experience benefits of restorative care.
“I love this job because of the quality and quantity of one-on-one time it gives me with our residents,” Stephanie King explained. “I love to see our residents improve their health and maintain as much of their independence as possible.”
“I love to watch residents gain mobility and independence through restorative therapy,” said Robyn Ryan, RN. “They are so happy to experience improvement and are proud that they are still able to do so many things for themselves. Residents are excited to go to the therapy room. Donna and Stephanie do a wonderful job; you can tell that their hearts are really in working with these residents.”
When Jean Ridder arrived at BCHC Long Term Care one year ago, “They had to use a Hoyer-lift to get me in and out of bed and I was not walking,” she explained. “Now I can get myself up and walk comfortably.”
“Jean is another one who has worked very hard,” Stephanie King explained. “She’s in here every day, working and getting stronger. She still uses a walker to help with balance, but it has been very exciting to watch her go from wheelchair to walking by herself. We are very proud of her.”
For more information about Buchanan County Health Center Long Term Care or its restorative care programming, go to www.bchealth.info or call 319-332-0915.