As Infinity Rehab and the healthcare industry continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to hear amazing stories from the field of the heroic acts and passionate dedication our therapists are showing at this critical time.
Below is a collection of highlights of various happenings in our communities. Some are directly related to COVID-19. Others highlight unique moments, regardless of the pandemic.
“Our residents are encouraged to put artwork on the walls outside of their rooms that show off their personalities. One of them has a small statue of a butler holding a tray to collect mail or notes that other residents drop by. About a week after we started requiring all the residents to wear masks when they leave their rooms, the butler was suddenly wearing a mask — a very colorfully decorated mask that is changed out frequently.”
“Our skilled nursing facility has two outdoor patios for the residents. The other day, a bird flew inside while the door was open, but then became stuck inside. As the CNAs and nurses and then maintenance crew after maintenance crew member came with brooms and boxes and waving arms to get the bird out one patio door, one of our residents with significant physical impairments and minimal verbal communication calmly watched the antics. After 20 minutes of watching, he wheeled himself over to the other patio, pushed open the door, and then parked his chair in the doorway so it remained open. One minute later, the bird flew out the open escape hatch. Our resident then wheeled himself back inside and picked up the newspaper he had been reading.”
“My team has a love/hate relationship with technology. A lot of times we want to throw our computers out the window when we’ve lost another note as we moved from one part of the building to another. But Zoom has been a beautiful thing. We’ve been struggling to get one of our residents who experienced a massive stroke to be able to focus long enough to get more than just a few forward steps in during his walking trials. Then we got his family on a Zoom call and set up the computer at the far end of a 50-foot hallway. His family was able to witness him walking the furthest he ever had without stopping. The cheers from them as he walked closer to the screen were massive.”
“The step-down isolation and droplet precautions we require every new patient to go through for the first two weeks when they arrive means my team is required to wear a lot of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the day and doing a lot of in-room treatments. In-room treatments have their downside for sure — the patients get bored easily, the PPE is hot and hard to breathe in, there is not a lot of room, especially in the double occupancy rooms, and we’ve seen an uptick in dizziness during the 6MWT (a 23 foot door-to-window distance means A LOT of turning) and a downtick in the distances covered. But the precautions seem to be working ,and we haven’t had an outbreak of COVID-19. We’re also getting pretty good at creative ‘interval and circuit training,’ where patients scoot back and forth on the bed, sit-to-stand, walking trials, marching in place, lateral stepping, all on a loop repeat. Since the therapists are also eagerly counting down the 14 days, we are often the ones with the patient when they step out of their rooms for the first time, and that is pure magic. Their posture is suddenly taller, their footing more secure, and if we could see their faces behind the masks they are wearing, there would be big smiles as well. Equally impressive is that going to the therapy gym is now the best field trip in the world.”
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