Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Transitional Living Experience helps patients focus on independence

October 19, 2023

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals has always focused on helping patients maximize their level of independence.

The Transitional Living Experience prepares a Madonna patient and their families for their return home by allowing them to live in the apartment for a short period alone or with a caregiver. The patient has an apartment key, follows their therapy schedule and is responsible for taking daily medications and treatments while having their Madonna care team close by for consultation or assistance.

“We’re just trying to take everything that they learn in the daily sessions and carry that over into an experience where it’s going to be more like what they’ll be doing at home,” Mikayla Humm, OT/L, occupational therapy clinical director, said.

Madonna’s care team performs a home assessment for each patient to evaluate what their setup will be and then individualizes the plan so that the patient knows what to expect, whether in the patient’s room or in the new fully-furnished, 500-square foot apartments.

“When a patient leaves here, the nursing staff and the team don’t go with you,” Humm said. “So it’s a matter of really making sure that every opportunity we have, we are using those minutes in therapy and outside of therapy, even with nursing to educate about how everything is done.”

When patients enter the Transitional Living Experience, they become responsible for managing their medications and daily schedules, bowel and bladder care, transferring from the wheelchair to the bed, toilet, or chair, bathing, dressing and eating.

“We just want to open the opportunities for people to learn how to do those things so that they can function themselves,” Humm said. “This experience gets them off the unit, away from nurses and bells and whistles, and puts them into a quieter environment with their family, if that’s the plan, to practice everything they’ve been learning.”

When Jules Gates sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident, his main goal was regaining his independence. After about a month at Madonna and just before going home, he spent three days in our Transitional Living Apartments.

Jules Gates wanted to regain his independence after sustaining a spinal cord injury in a car accident. After several weeks of therapy, he entered the Transitional Living Experience for two nights and realized he needed to learn a few more things before discharging. However, he also recognized he was more prepared than he thought.

“It showed that I could do more than I thought,” Jules said. “But also just the little, little steps that they don't really go over with you in therapy or that nurses just kind of do for you. It helped me realize what day-to-day life is going to be.”