To help ease the transition back to living at home, the 202-bed medical rehabilitation facility HealthSouth Harmarville (Pa.) launched an initiative in September to enable patients with severe disabilities to mix with the general population at mealtime.
Medical rehab is so much about discharging the patient to home and integrating them back into society, says Lynn Campbell, general manager of dining services for the hospital, which is about 13 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
The experience helps patients with conditions like hemiplegia, dysphagia and quadriplegia feel less self-conscious, Campbell says. Theyre excited when theyre able to come to the dining room. They know its a steppingstone, she says. Its a nice, kind of relaxing setting for them to take a break from their heavy therapy schedule.