A NEW Early Supported Discharge Team for stroke survivors has been operating in the Cork area, providing at-home treatment and rehabilitation for patients in the community.
The team, made up of occupational therapists and physiotherapists, has enabled patients to be discharged earlier from hospital and receive their stroke rehabilitation in their own home.
“This has lead to better outcomes for the patient as the best place to learn skills and adapt to your home environment is in your own home,” said Occupational Therapy (OT) manager for CUH, Megan Goodall.
“Patients who experience their rehabilitation in their own home achieve greater independence in everyday activities of daily living and less need for nursing home care. This has also lead to a reduction in the length of stay in hospital for patients and thus increasing the number of beds available for other patients being admitted,” she added.
The team provide in-home treatment and rehab for up to six patients a day in the Cork region.
A stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain is cut off.
This deprives the brain of oxygen, which can cause cells to die and can result in loss of mobility.
Fortunately, treatment such as occupational therapy and physiotherapy can be used to address these issues and provide a higher quality of life.
“It’s a great help to the patients who are delighted to be getting treatment at home, in the comfort of their own familiar surroundings,” said senior physiotherapist at CUH, Marie Condon.
“In hospitals, patients can become bored or they may not be sleeping.
“But at home they’re relaxed and with family and friends,” she added.
The team, based out of Cork University Hospital and the Mercy University Hospital have been up and running since January.
“It’s so important to provide intense physio and occupational therapy early on,” said Ms Condon.
“It can lead to great improvements for stroke survivors and ensure a greater quality of life.
“The people we visit on a daily basis are delighted with the service we provide and grateful that they can get treatment in their own homes,” she added.
This week marks National Stroke Awareness Week in Ireland.
One-in-five people will have a stroke at some time in their life.