South Shore Hospital and the Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group have entered into a joint venture agreement to provide high-quality posthospital care for patients who need transitional rehabilitation before returning home.
Located at the Colonial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Weymouth, Massachusetts, the program helps older adult patients with the opportunity to reach their maximum functional and psychological potential.
Don Frost, Director of Social Services at South Shore Hospital said: "Eightyfive percent of nursing home patients come from hospitals. Many of these patients might have been able to return home if they had been given the opportunity to regain or improve their prehospital level of independence. Through therapies, recuperation, and social activities, progress is made toward a successful reentry into the community. Recuperation is as important in this program as rehabilitation. Before the transitional rehabilitation program began, a patient's chance of returning home was primarily linked to the successful completion of a rehabilitation program designed for younger patients."
The program was developed after a retrospective study of the patients placed by South Shore Hospital in long-term care facilities. "We found a shrinking older adult support system due to governmental budget cuts, and increasing numbers of people who might have been candidates for interim care, who were finding themselves, often inappropriately, in a long-term care facility," said Frost.
The average age of the program's patients is 85, and most have complicated medical histories. Of the 1 6 patients who have participated in the new program, 1 1 returned home. Without the program, Frost estimated that 90% would have been institutionalized permanently.
For more information, contact Carla Roudabush, South Shore Hospital, 55 Frogg Road, South Weymouth, MA 02190-2455; 61 7-340-8302.