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At CBI Health, ensuring clients can stay actively involved in their own care program plays a vital role in helping them make an effective recovery. In this ‘Connected Care Story’, our Home Health team worked with a client to understand what mattered most to her when she was faced with having to make an important decision after an accident.

Catherine* had been living in a retirement home for several years. One day she experienced a fall and broke her hip. After undergoing hip surgery, she was left feeling weak and her mobility became extremely limited. She was previously able to use a walker to move around her retirement home, but the effects of the accident and surgery forced her to begin using a wheelchair. In addition, she required heavy assistance with basic activities, such as getting up and doing transfers, getting dressed in the morning, and going for meals in the dining hall. The noticeable, debilitating change in Catherine left her and her family to consider if she should move into a long-term care facility where there would be more support available for her.

As they thought about this decision, Catherine was admitted to CBI Health’s Home Independence Program (HIP), where she received comprehensive care from an integrated team. The entire team worked closely with her to determine what personal goals mattered to her the most and what would positively contribute to her overall well-being. Through their discussion, Catherine expressed that she wanted to stay in the retirement home with the friends she had made over the years, and that she wanted to be able to walk again without a wheelchair.

To assist Catherine in moving towards her specific goals, the team developed a home exercise plan to improve her strength and balance. Her physiotherapist taught her gentle leg and hip exercises, while her occupational therapist accompanied Catherine through the physical practicing of the movements. They worked together to help Catherine in getting up from her bed, walking a few metres into a hallway, and then eventually walking over to the dining hall as her strength increased. The personal support worker on her team also adapted her bathing and self-care routines, so she could be an active participant in her care, helping to wash her own hair and body.

It was crucial to the team to be able to support Catherine’s son, who was her primary caregiver. By providing him with regular updates and guiding him on how he could best provide care for his mother, Catherine’s son felt included throughout the process and appreciated the community programs and resources that were made available to him.

Within three weeks of the program, Catherine began to see significant improvements in her mobility and strength. After closely working with her team, she went from having to use a wheelchair to gradually being able to navigate the retirement home with her walker again. Catherine’s team credits her incredible progress to her determination right from the beginning. From the first day of her program, she took in all the education and was motivated to do the exercises and work herself, even in between sessions. An important part of her recovery was her growing confidence as she actively started noticing the difference within herself as she progressed through the program.

Together with her son, Catherine has made the decision that they no longer need to pursue long-term care placement because she is improving so well. She continues to receive basic care in just a few daily activities, but is happy that her newfound independence and mobility will enable her to continue living comfortably in her retirement home.

*Client’s name has been changed