Long-Term Care

The principles of rehabilitation and restoration

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, November 18, 2010

Rehabilitation and restorative nursing care are designed to assist residents to attain and maintain the highest level of physical, mental, and psychological function possible in light of each resident’s unique situation. Both types of care are based on a belief in the dignity and worth of each resident. The residents’ individual abilities, strengths, and needs are considered. The principles of restorative nursing care apply to all residents. They are:

  • Begin treatment early. Starting restorative care soon after admission or early in the disease will improve the outcome.
  • Activity strengthens and inactivity weakens. Keep residents as active as possible. Encourage independence, even if the resident is cognitively impaired.
  • Prevent further disability. For example, nursing personnel develop a preventive care plan for high-risk conditions, such as falls, pressure ulcers, contractures, and deformities. Practice safety.
  • Stress the resident’s ability and not the disability. Emphasize what the resident can do. Avoid expressions such as, “You can’t use your right arm.” Instead, say, “You can use your left arm.” Do not assume the resident cannot complete a task until you’ve tried, particularly with residents who are cognitively impaired.
  • Treat the whole person. You cannot isolate a medical problem from the rest of the person. Consider all of the resident’s strengths and needs. Use and build on the strengths to overcome the needs.

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The Long-Term Care Nursing Desk Reference, Second Edition, by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

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