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Independence in a Long-Term Care Facility

Pat works at Mountain View Assisted Living Facility, and a large part of her job is to provide restorative care–also called rehabilitation nursing–for residents who cannot fully care for themselves on a daily basis. With restorative care, nurse assistants help residents maintain their independence as much as possible but are also there to aid residents when the residents can no longer perform daily care tasks by themselves.

Pat follows each resident’s care plan, which states what each resident is able to do independently and what he or she needs help to do. When Pat started working as a nurse assistant, she tried to help residents with almost everything but soon learned that residents might have trouble accepting help because they want to remain as independent as possible, just as they were before they entered Mountain View. Now Pat thinks about how it might feel to need help to get dressed, to bathe, to eat, and to use the bathroom. She knows that encouraging residents to do tasks on their own, if they are able to, is important for their physical and mental needs. Completing some daily tasks independently improves the residents’ self-esteem and sense of dignity.

Each resident has different needs, depending on his or her illness or injury. Pat tidies up Mrs. Morgan’s room while Mrs. Morgan gets dressed. When Mrs. Morgan needs some help putting on her sweater, Pat holds the sleeves out so Mrs. Morgan can put her arms through. Pat carefully watches the residents in her care while they are eating lunch. When Mr. Zhou is having trouble using his fork, Pat helps him with a few bites. She praises Mr. Zhou for eating most of his meal by himself.  

Pat tries her best to make all residents remain as independent as possible while they are receiving care at Mountain View.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners