The Bon Secours Maryview Center for Physical Rehabilitation was recently featured in an article from The Catholic Health Association of the United States discussing the use of “mobility courtyards” in rehabilitation.
Mobility courtyards are used by therapists to help patients re-learn how to walk on a variety of surfaces – thereby reducing their risk of a fall. It’s considered an important part of building skills for daily living.
At Maryview’s inpatient Center for Physical Rehabilitation, therapy patients practice walking on different uneven surfaces, including cement and gravel, grass and mulch, and steps. Working with therapists, patients navigate up inclines, down ramps and around obstacles. It was designed for in-patient rehabilitation and has a variety of surfaces and grades, a small bridge to walk over, ramps and curb cuts.
“Usually a patient’s goal is to get home,” says John DaVanzo, Maryview’s director of rehabilitation services. Mobility courtyards allow patients to practice ways they can be safe in their home environment, or how adaptive devices or new techniques and skills can be used to compensate in the case of permanent disability. When learning a skill, “it takes a lot of practice to get it into muscle memory,” DaVanzo says.
While the walled courtyards are landscaped and welcoming, the garden features are practical, not ornamental. Therapists help patients work in the garden to maximize the abilities and esteem of the patient and family and foster a healthy reintegration into the community. A car body located inside, beyond the courtyard, allows patients to practice getting in and out of all four doors and loading and unloading items from the trunk.
Benedictine facilities with the mobility courtyards have a goal of a 5 percent reduction in the numbers of patients discharged from those skilled nursing facilities who later have a fall resulting in an emergency room visit, hospital stay, readmission to a skilled nursing facility, or death.