Recovery relies on commitment

Recovery relies on commitment

The emotional judgement of the patients has created a disconnect between the necessity of post acute care and the autonomy of committing to it.

The textbook definition of recovery means: the return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. When going through significant changes, people often talk about how they want things to go back to normal. But what does “normal” really mean?

Due to the unforeseeable end of the global pandemic, it is more than common to hear people wish for things to go back to how they were before. But when you really think about what we used to consider “normal”, were we really better off?

When there is friction, we have the power to create energy. Energy creates change. Covid-19 forced our society to take a moment to confront our friction. We were able to advocate for a better “normal” by focusing our energy on actions like the BLM movement, voting policies, vaccination education, mental health awareness, and the list goes on.

This ideology is crucial for a successful recovery. If you want to improve your health, you have to be willing to make a change. In order to progress from your current state, you have to activate that change with energy. You must commit to yourself which means you need to face your friction and do something about it.

People tend to think that going back to “normal” equates to getting better. Better than what though? “Normal” is what got you here in the first place. This is your opportunity to not only get better from what you’re going through now, but from what you considered “normal” before. “Normal” doesn’t always mean good in the same sense that change doesn’t have to be bad.

Unfortunately, one of the most common fears is change. This fear influences people to rush towards their version of normalcy, because they view “normal” as getting better. Instead of taking the necessary steps through rehab and post-acute care, discharged patients decline the extra treatment to get back to their old lives.

The fear of change adds to the stigma surrounding post acute care.

For healthcare providers, post acute care is an integral stepping stone for creating and maintaining good physical condition after hospitalization. But oftentimes patients decline offers of post acute care for reasons such as; wanting to be home, negative experiences in the past, and lack of knowledge of the recommendations. In the study “Why Older Adults May Decline Offers of Post-Acute Care Services: A Qualitative Descriptive Study”, Sefcik et al (2017) found that patients who refused [post acute care] felt shame and stigmatization related to their diagnosis. The authors concluded this may be reflected in the patient’s feelings of self-worth which contributes to reducing help-seeking behavior and leads to the refusal of care.

The emotional judgement of the patients has created a disconnect between the necessity of post acute care and the autonomy of committing to it.

Broadly speaking, the main goal of post acute care is to prevent hospital readmissions by managing the treatment journey after hospitalization. Post acute care can take place in skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation facilities, long term care hospitals and through in-home caregivers. The need for PAC is constantly increasing, but its importance is not well-known.

Why commitment matters

commitment, health, data analytics

As a therapist working with post acute care, it is vital to share as much information as you can with your patients. In many cases, patients are unclear of their next steps, don’t fully understand their care plan and lack confidence in their ability to recover. Without a full understanding, it’s easy for patients to simply just do as they are told. According to the article “Importance of Staying Motivated in Physical Therapy”,  Damien O’Sullivan claims that “A patient’s motivation is arguably one of the most important factors which influences the speed and extent of their recovery,” (O’Sullivan, 2018).

Commitment to care is the first step to recovery. It is the pivotal decision of choosing between giving up or stepping up.

As a patient, utilizing a support system provides extra encouragement to step beyond expectations. Within a support system there are friends, family, and therapists that are on your team to help you throughout the healing process.

But ultimately, they aren’t the ones doing the physical therapy – you are. It is your decision to commit. You have to do your part in leading the team. They can only do so much to support you before you commit to wanting to support yourself.

More than just wanting to get better – you need to believe it. You need to believe that it’s possible and that you are able to make it happen.

With time and consistency, a positive mindset develops progress. While therapists’ goals are to provide the best quality of care, the patient is responsible for the willingness to commit. Healing is more than just a physical process. It relies on mental perseverance to embrace change despite not knowing what it may bring. No matter what happens, there will be an outcome following recovery. Everyone deserves a life beyond recovery, but it’s up to the patient to decide how they want that life to look.

Finding the right path is hard, trusting that path is even harder

family, healthcare, data analytics, commitment

As a company specializing in predictive analytics, we use data-driven decisions and predictions to improve the process of recovery. Our predictions are derived from the experiences of real people. Using data from real patient history, we are able to make better, more informed decisions for the future. Our goal is not to replace therapists, but assist them as a tool so they can focus on the human-side of the work that really matters.

While therapists are committed to providing quality care and patients are committed to healing, we are focused on smoothing the bridge between the two. Think of us as goggles on swimmers. They can swim without us, but goggles prevent collisions while providing a clear path to the finish line. Our quick and accurate data provides customized treatment plans to predict clear, proactive paths to recovery. It’s visible to all patients within the facility, because we prioritize efficiency through transparency.

Our software encourages commitment and communication, because they are the building blocks to recovering successfully. As a team, we have to educate each other on the effects of post acute care and destigmatize the idea of needing help. This is an issue beyond individual cases. It’s generational, political, societal.

And we have to rely on each other if we want to improve the system. 

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