Stella was referred to the re-ablement project by the ward Occupational Therapist (OT). This is part of a pilot project run by the OT health care of older people team at NUH.
Please see Stella’s experience and the benefits of focussed OT re-ablement interventions in an acute setting:
Stella is an 85 year old lady who was admitted to hospital after becoming unwell she was found to be anaemic and have an acute kidney injury caused by dehydration. Stella usually lives by herself in a bungalow. She had no care package and is a very independent lady who still drives. Prior to her admission to hospital, Stella walked independently with a Zimmer frame around her home. While in hospital Stella began to struggle with some areas of her mobility and function, particularly as her legs had become swollen this made it difficult for Stella to lift them. Stella was finding getting in and out of bed particularly difficult. She became low in mood and upset that she was not able to do as much as she normally could, she worried about how she would manage at home.
Stella’s own goals were to increase her mobility and she wanted to practice bed transfers. Stella also indicated that she had lost confidence whilst in hospital.
Stella received three separate visits from the re-ablement support worker while in hospital. During these visits the re-ablement support worker offered alternative techniques for her bed transfers that made lifting her legs into bed easier. They also practiced walking with the Zimmer frame, increasing the distance she walked each time. The re-ablement support worker also encouraged Stella to try to do as much for herself as she could whilst she was on the ward, such as going to the toilet by herself and washing herself independently as she would at home. Stella practiced the techniques and took the advice during the rest of her time on the ward.
Upon the final visit Stella appeared to be much more confident and positive about going home. She had also been taking herself to and from the toilet independently and was able to get in and out of bed independently without any extra aids.
Stella expressed how grateful she was for all of the help she had received on the ward, particularly the encouragement from the re-ablement project “I appreciated it” she said “it made me feel more confident about getting home”. Stella felt that the project could benefit other people in the future. Stella was discharged after 19 days in hospital, she went back to her own home, she did not require any extra support upon discharge. She is looking forwards to getting back to driving her car.