How to Set Up a Restorative Care Program for a Nursing Home

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Restorative nursing programs are a vital component of the care provided in a nursing home because they contribute to improved and prolonged quality of life for your residents. Assembling the appropriate staff and providing the extensive training needed are integral to the success of your restorative nursing program. Use restorative nursing programs to follow therapy interventions and maintain the progress and independence your residents have achieved. These programs can also reduce your residents' risk of secondary complications, illness and infection associated with functional decline.

Compiling a team-oriented, resident-focused team is vital.
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Select your restorative nursing staff very carefully and deliberately. Pick one supervising R.N. with extensive experience in the long-term care setting who is enthusiastic about therapy and passionate about excellence in quality of care. Choose multiple certified nursing assistants with the same enthusiasm and passion for excellence who have the maturity to quickly follow the recommendations of others on your interdisciplinary team and express any concerns about those recommendations. Consult with your therapy team for recommendations from within your current staff.

Supply your restorative team with essential exercise items.
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Prepare the office and treatment area for your restorative nursing program. Staff will need multiple surfaces for documentation and the open floor area must accommodate five to eight residents at one time. Select a space that adjoins an open hallway with limited resident and visitor traffic to give participants enough time for lengthy ambulation. Supply your restorative care staff with exercise equipment as per the recommendations of your therapists. This may include dumbbells, exercise bars/dowel rods, upper body bicycles and foot cycles. Provide dedicated walkers in various heights and widths, including bariatric items, for your restorative staff to use for resident ambulation programs.

Plan to introduce your program with the recommendations your therapy team. Consult with the occupational therapy and physical therapy team leaders to establish programs for specific residents as well as group programs such as "Walk to Dine" where residents functionally walk to the dining room for all meals. Arrange for multiple training sessions with the head therapists and your restorative staff to orient your restorative care team to specific splints, ambulation recommendations, body mechanics, etc., that many C.N.A.s are not familiar with.

Warnings

  • Research your state's requirements for frequency of restorative programs and allowed interventions, as these can vary from state to state.

References

Resources

About the Author

Melissa Sabo is an occupational therapist who started writing professional guidebooks for all Flagship Rehabilitation employees in 2009. Specializing in applied therapy and exercise for non-medical readers, she also coauthored a manual on wheelchair positioning. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy.

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