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  • Karen M. McPhail

Thinking out of the Box: Post Operative Recovery

In today's world we are always looking for creative ways to manage care situations and new solutions that assist with quality! I recently became aware of a very creative way for seniors and other post operative patients to have quality and comfort, in an out of the box, cost effective way!

I was staying at a local hotel in the McLean, VA area while we were having some home renovations and I noticed an elderly woman with a young girl smiling and chatting as she carefully pushed her through the lobby. We both arrived at breakfast and began to make casual conversation. She asked about my stay and I did the same. I was truly surprised by her answer. She had recently undergone a right hip replacement and inpatient rebab at a local facility. She did not feel comfortable as of yet returning home due to some of the stairs to navigate and other aspects, but did not want to go to another facility as she wanted a real life, less restrictive, more private, restful environment So, with family support and assistance, they arrived upon another plan. They arranged to have a live in private duty nurse and a handicapped accessible room at the hotel. She said that it was sort of like a vacation as she had a full kitchenette, a sitting room, a lobby store for small items, free housekeeping, free toiletries, free breakfast each day, afternoon happy hour with free refreshments, free transportation, free internet and cable, laundry services, and more. The hotel even gave her a special discounted rate. She was close to her outpatient physical therapy center and was able to be out and about with her private duty nurse. Her family had peace of mind in knowing that she was comfortable and getting terrific 24 hour care on her terms. She could even sit by the pool in the afternoon to get some sun and socialize a bit. And the overall cost was cheaper than going to a nursing facility and had no set contract or other restrictive terms. She knew that she could return home when she was really ready, without pressure.

I spoke with the manager on duty about this and she said that they are having more and more people going this route. They even get requests for hospital beds, recliner chairs and other durable medical equipment to be delivered prior to check in. I thought, this makes sense! Less commitment, less cost, one on one care, and more! This experience has helped me to be more creative and to rethink about alternatives for my clients!

We all know the standard path and resources, but maybe we should try to explore more creative options that are more customized and cater to our client's overall needs.

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