With its new Rehab to Home space opening soon, the Good Neighbor Society in Manchester adds another level of care and rehabilitation to the patients and residents it serves.
The 16,000 square foot facility is designed for short term stays for patients in need of rehabilitation. And as the name implies, the goal is to get the patient back home.
“Our goal here is to have residents and patients that come in with an acute situation to rehabilitate them and get them home at their prior level of function,” said Good Neighbor Society CEO Matt Carpenter.
Before returning home, patients can practice and demonstrate everyday activities at the facility in a variety of stations that simulate a patient’s home.
A patient may practice shopping for groceries in an area of the facility that has items on shelves and a shopping cart. “Living independently, one of the major functions of preparing a meal is going to the grocery store,” Carpenter explained. “Here they can practice reaching for items off the shelves, scanning items and using the shopping cart.”
A kitchen area has a stove, sink and dishwasher where patients may work on demonstrating cooking, cleaning and doing laundry.
“Those are essential things they would do at home,” said Patient Care Coordinator Sara Wilwert. “Demonstrating it and practicing it here helps ensure there are no surprises when they return home. We have seen them practice it.”
A mock-up of a house allows patients to demonstrate navigating steps while using a walker or cane. The house has light bulbs for patients to change as well as different prototypes of windows to open and close. There is even a screen door for patients to open and close.
“A lot of times in facilities, the first time a patient gets the opportunity to do these things is when they return home. If you haven’t practiced with the door going in and out, it can be a real challenge,” Wilwert said.
The house also has an incline with a variety of surfaces for patients to practice walking.
A car transfer will give patients the opportunity to practice getting in and out of their vehicle. The transfer is equipped with hydraulics, allowing the car to be raised or lowered to simulate the type of vehicle the patient has at home, whether they drive a sedan or a pickup.
“Maybe that is something they wanted to practice at home, but it’s raining or snowing,” Wilwert said. “This takes the weather elements out of the picture.”
The gym area also has a walking track for those needing practice walking. Harnesses are available for patients recovering from a stroke or injury that need support in recreating muscle memory.
The facility also has individual treating areas for patient privacy.
A dining room and lounge area for patients provides a comfortable place to enjoy meals.
Patient rooms are 350 square feet and come with a private bath and shower. Sliding doors in the rooms replace swing doors, making navigating with a wheelchair easier. Outlets are high enough on the walls so patients don’t have to bend down to access them.
Community Development Director Jessie Tibbott said a lot of thought went into the details of the room. “It’s simple things like dimmable lights that allow the patients to choose the illuminations in the room. It’s things we tried to think through. We asked ourselves, ‘when we aren’t feeling well, what makes our days easier?’”
Residents on the campus of the Good Neighbor Society receive priority for the facility. “This allows us to do whatever we can to help support our residents’ needs and get them back home,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter believes the addition is the missing piece of the campus. “We managed in the other space we had to the best of our ability, but we outgrew the space. This will definitely maximize our program for rehab to home.”
Tibbott recognized those who helped make the facility a reality. “Our campaign executive committee had a big part in this,” she said. “So did the community and our donors. This whole community came together to make this happen.”