The RD&E’s three community inpatient units are being used to provide tailored rehabilitation with the emphasis on preparing each person to return to their own home. The service is led by a senior therapist and is designed to maintain or prolong the independence of people who might otherwise face unnecessarily prolonged hospital stays, inappropriate admission to residential care or long-term packages of care at home.
Denise from Exmouth shares her recent experience:
Losing a leg is a life changing event for anyone but at my age I knew that it was going to affect every aspect of my life. Small tasks that we all take for granted would become a challenge. I was faced with questions like ‘how am I going to get around the house? Carry food or drinks?’ I was even worrying about how I was going to do the housework. Then there was getting dressed to contend with.
When I arrived at Exmouth Hospital to start my rehabilitation it was all so overwhelming and I had no confidence in my abilities. How could I get back to being normal?
From the very first moment the team have been great. They got me to think about what matters to me and helped me to set goals to focus on. My family and friends are most important to me. Being able to spend time and play with my grandsons has been a big motivation. I also want to be able to care for my pets and do lunch with my lady friends. My son is getting married in June and I don’t want to be confined to a wheelchair for the day so my ultimate aim is to get a prosthesis. First though I needed to get to grips with life with only one leg.
A home visit to look at what help or changes might be needed was a real eye-opener. The rehab on the ward was going really well but it was only when I was home in a wheelchair I could experience the challenges. I realised just how important the rehabilitation was and I was determined to get the most out of the support on offer.
Back on the ward, there wasn’t much time for sitting around. Every day we were doing tasks and exercises to help me get back my independence. I was really surprised about how much I was encouraged to do for myself – even making breakfast and hot drinks. Such small things but hugely important to help me get home.
Life will never be the same but with the help of the team I’m much more hopeful about the future. Since being home, I’ve even been on some trips out with my two sons. I’m so grateful to the team for all their support and encouragement. And I will be walking at the wedding!