Long Term Goal: Improve functional cognitive linguistic skills to maximize safety and community re-entry.
----Short Term Goal: The client will complete graphic attention/organization tasks with 80% accuracy and min cues.
Different Colored Tic Tacs, Pill Organizer, List of Client's Prescriptions, Empty Pill Bottles or Containers
Preparing for the Activity:
1. Look in the patient's chart for a list of their prescriptions. If you do not see a list you can make up some prescriptions for this activity, it just is more functional if you have the patient's actual list of prescriptions.
2. Write or type up a list with the prescription information, I would number the list so it is easy to read.
3. If the patient is taking three different types of medications then you will need 3 different colored tic tacs.
4. Pour the different colored tic tacs into the different empty pill bottles or containers.
Instructions for the Activity:
1. Explain the purpose and the instructions for the activity.
2. The patient will read each prescription carefully and then organize their medication for the week in the pill organizer.
3. For example if the prescription reads: Advil: Take 1 capsule twice a day x 5 days, then the patient would put two capsules in each section of the pill organizer for Monday through Friday.
4. Provide cues as needed throughout the activty.
5. Ask the patient if they are typically the one who organizes his/her medication each week.
This is a great activity that I used when I was in my internship in the Skilled Nursing Facility. My supervisor introduced me to this activity and I think it is very functional, especially if the patient is going to be re-entering the community and will be managing his/her medication independently.
1. Learner will gain familiarity with some possible strategies and techniques that an SLP may provide to patient when addressing specific areas.
2. Learner will be able to state 3 possible areas that an SLP may encompass in his/her treatment plan.
3. Learner will gain information regarding the role of an SLP when assisting with reduction of patient falls in the nursing home.
Attention and Concentration
Increasing maximal attention
*Goal: To maintain attention to structured tasks with less than 2 redirections.
*Activities: Making a grocery list, following map directions, sequencing tasks
*Possible Strategies/Techniques: Maintaining eye contact, speaking slowly, repeating information as needed, turn off the radio or television, closing the door during therapy to decrease distractions and background noise, complete only one task at a time.
Addressing short term and long term memory
*Goal: To increase recall of daily events and therapy details with minimum cues.
*Activities: Listening to a list of directions, presenting patient with pictures of different people and then have he/she recall the names of each person.
Safety Awareness and Reasoning
Due to cognitive deficits and lack of insight, patients may be at an increased risk for future falls.
*Goal: To increase safety awareness/problem solving skills to a maximal level for re-entry into the community.
*Possible Recommendations: Patient may need a room closer to the nurse's station so that they can be closely monitored, written reminders (i.e. "Do not get up unassisted!") reviewed and posted in room.
*Activities: Reviewing and reinforcing safety precautions (i.e. ringing red call button and waiting for assistance, locking wheelchair before standing), safety cards, written steps to carryout a task (e.g. transferring from bed to wheelchair).
Sometimes after a patient has a fall he/she may lack awareness of the time, place, existing situation, and identity
*Goal: To orient patient x 4
*Activities: Family can bring in pictures of family members and pets as visual reminders of familiar people and different areas in their life, using the calendar to orient to time, checking daily to see if patient is oriented to person, place, situation and time (re-orient as needed).
*Strategies/Techniques: List of medications, visitor log, memory book or day planner which includes: calendar, daily schedule, names and roles of therapists, doctors and nurses
Many of these strategies are great to help improve patient's short term and long term memory as well as orientation skills.
*One of the patient's that I worked with when I was doing my internship in the nursing home told me once, "Part of growing old is letting go of the things you love." I have never forgotten that quote till this day, which brings us to the next important area, counseling.
*Most adults that are seen on a daily basis for therapy have suffered traumatic events that have caused many changes in more than one area of their life. So as a speech language pathologist it is important to keep that in mind when working with this population. Some are having to adjust to a change in schedule, asking for help and waiting for help with a skill that they have been use to doing independently, and many other changes that they experience.
*ASHA's "Scope of Practice" states that we as SLPs can/should provide counseling for those individuals we see for therapy with communication/swallowing disorders.
*It is important to help the patient realize that "they are still the same person, but just with different pieces."
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2007). Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology [Scope of
Practice]. Available from www.asha.org/policy.
*The information above was from a PowerPoint for an Inservice project for my internship in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). I hope you all enjoyed it, let me know what you think the role of the Speech Language Pathologist when pertaining to falls in the nursing home.