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  • Writer's picturejoannaward3

Changing face of care homes

In care home needing physiotherapy

In recognition of National Care Homes week 2018, J Links Physiotherapy has been reflecting on our recent experiences.

Choosing a Care Home can be a stressful time, after all, you or your family member will be calling it 'home'. Residents should be offered appropriate care and support to help them lead their own life and do the activities they want to do. The best standards are achieved when each resident has choice and control over what they want to do and when they want to do it.

Care Homes are required to support their residents to maintain their activities and autonomy if physical health and/or mental capacity deteriorates. Care homes are required to have detailed risk assessments to support safe moving and handling of residents.

In the last year we have noticed a change in the some of the residents who are being offered and choosing to live in in Care Homes.

Over the last year, from our client list, we have noticed a change in the people being offered care home places on discharge from hospital. It is usually done because it is felt that this is a safer option than returning home when rehabilitation at home or in a residential setting is not considered appropriate. What is not clear is if this is a conscious decision across the health and social care sector or a consequence of a situation of an ageing population and hard-pressed community services.

For some residents, once settled in their care homes, we are seeing them becoming more active than they were in hospital and sometimes even than they were when they were at home before their hospital admission. People who had previously not been keen to participate in rehabilitation in hospital (often sending the physios away) change their mind and feel that they are ready for some help to improve their mobility. It could be simply be a slight change in any one of a number of factors that provide the catalyst, some of which are shown in the picture below.

Our experience is, people are benefitting from sessions with a physiotherapist from JLinks Physiotherapy by;

  • becoming mobile and more independent with their every day tasks and activities

  • becoming brighter and appear to take control of managing and planning tasks

  • improving how they assess their own risks

  • when measured, many have better strength and balance, reduce their risk of falling

  • they can reduce their complex care needs

During our sessions we work collaboratively with care home staff with; training, supervision, reviewing care plans and risk assessments for individual residents.

Slowly we are noticing a change in the expectations of care home staff we work with. Carers and nurses now look for residents who can improve and are ready to take the next step and are asking for help from services. This is a really positive step.

We want to reach out to care homes and their residents and assist them in giving people an opportunity to improve their physical and mental wellbeing through exercise, movement and therapy. Contact us, should you have any questions, we are a good resource and happy to talk through a situation and signpost to other services if more beneficial.

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