The Restorative care program targets individuals in acute care whose recovery takes a longer period of time. These individuals may be the frail elderly or those with chronic illnesses that slow the typical recovery process. An interdisciplinary team consisting of nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, recreation, social work, and other healthcare professionals through a consultative process, complete a comprehensive assessment and restoration plan focusing on quality of life including medical, physical, social, spiritual, and psychological needs.
The program's goal is to discharge clients back to their previous living arrangement at their optimal level of functioning. Restorative Care is not intensive rehabilitation; it is slow paced, meaning fewer hours of rehabilitation a day complimented by consistent encouragement to participate in activities of daily living. Encouragement comes from all team members, including family.
The benefits of Restorative Care are numerous, both at the client level and organizational level. Appropriate, early identification of restorative care candidates at the acute care level can help reduce the amount of alternative level of care (ALC) clients in acute care beds, thus opening the bed for those who truly need acute care services. Most importantly restorative care offers clients the opportunity to improve and go home after an illness or surgery, in a very positive environment which demonstrates an interdisciplinary approach to wellness. Clients are active, dressed in regular clothes, and engaged in activity with any one of the team members. They are motivated to work hard and improve. Many clients make friendships that last long after discharge from the program. These connections are a means of support in the community which may have been lacking for the client prior to hospital admission.
Restorative care programs are opening all over the country, and the restorative care philosophy is being implemented at all levels of care, including nursing homes. Facilitating independence and giving client's ownership of their health, wellness, and illness recovery is moving a step closer in the right direction. It is providing clients with the means to stay in the community longer while living full and meaningful lives.