Home Health Floor to Stick Transfer

Today on home health we were treating a man who suffered a spinal cord injury and is reporting frequent falls that he cannot recover from independently. He is a gardener so he loves spending his time out in his yard. Normally in the states we would teach someone how to do a floor transfer with the help of a chair or a dresser. We would have them go through the sequence of getting to the chair or sofa and then standing up with the use of furniture. For this man, he was constantly falling outside and he would have to roll around in the rocky yard to get to something to help him stand up. During my interview I quickly discovered that whenever he goes out to work in the yard he walks with a walking stick. We decided to teach him a floor to walking stick transfer. This was very entertaining for both him and myself because we both were trying to figure out the best way to go about it. Finally after a few trials he was able to stand up using just a walking stick. The joy he had when he realized he wouldn’t have to be laying in the yard for hours until someone would come help him was palpable. He also complained of getting his back dirty whenever he would fall and he wasn’t able to reach behind himself in the shower to clean it off. His grip strength was too poor to grab onto any pole or stick with a sponge on it so we couldn’t give him a common adaptive device. This was something he complained about a lot and you could tell he was very self-conscious. I decided to make him Belize style adaptive device to help him wash his back. I ended up going into town and buying a long shower towel. I tied off the two ends and punched thumb sized holes on each side. I then taught him how to shimmy the towel across his back when in the shower. He was so excited that we tried to find a way to help him clean his back. I am excited to go back and see if it was working.

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