how teresa and her staff helped 90-year-old audrey walk again

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I love to share positive stories about stuff that works to inspire others to create positive change in care environments. This one is from LPN and aging life care specialist Teresa Wheeler who shared it in a response when I posted “hidden restraints: hidden abuse” on LinkedIn:

“In my first management position in the late 1990s, I was given the task of removing all chemical and physical restraints from the residents in the two dementia units I was responsible for. While there were many success stories, Audrey’s is my favorite.

Audrey sat in a geri chair with a Posey vest on for the better part of every day because we were afraid she would fall and break a hip if we let her get up and walk around. In keeping with the goal of a restraint-free environment, I was committed to find a way forward for Audrey. First we tried removing the Posey vest. Not surprisingly, 90-year-old Audrey crawled out of the geri chair. Then we tried a merry walker, and God bless her, Audrey got out of that too.

With the blessing of her family, the staff and I finally decided to let Audrey sit in a wheelchair under the supervision of everyone’s caring and watchful eyes. Whenever she wanted to get up and walk, we would help her stand up and use the rail down the hallway to walk independently.

The result was like a miracle, Audrey walked for several years with only one fall, and that without any broken bones. She was no longer agitated and her quality of life improved substantially. She loved to walk, and we loved that we were able to facilitate her freedom.

It takes a village!”

Teresa Wheeler is the founder of Seasons of Change Consulting; she and her team provide a range of services to empower seniors and their families in Ohio.

Do you have similar success stories to share? Get in touch!

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JM