Client & Family Handbook G.F. Strong Rehab Centre

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1 Client & Family Handbook G.F. Strong Rehab Centre 4255 Laurel Street Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 2G

2 Prepared by G.F. Strong Rehab Centre Visit our website:

3 Welcome Our Mission and Vision Our History Our Philosophy Your Admission: A Checklist to Help You Medical Coverage Toiletries Clothing Equipment Other Personal Items Money/Valuables Finding Your Way Around What About Your Room Your Meals Your Personal Laundry A Telephone Regular Phones Cellular Phones Parking & Transportation Parking Getting here by BC Transit Visiting Hours Safety & Security Infection Control Identification Hallway Safety Elevator Safety Fire Safety Evening Outings & Weekend Leaves Where Can I Find Visitors Rooms A Place to Meet with Family and Friends A Place to Smoke A Post Office Bank Machines Newspapers Lost & Found

4 Your Rehabilitation Program Your Rehab Team Team Meetings Your Program Schedule Your Rehab Team Members The Doctor... The Rehab Nurse... The Physical Therapist... The Occupational Therapist... The Social Worker... The Speech-Language Pathologist... The Psychologist... The Recreation Therapist... The Sexual Health Clinician The Dietitian/Nutritionist... The Teacher... The Vocational Rehab Counsellor... The Music Therapist... The Alcohol and Drug Counsellor... The Peer Mentor (spinal cord program)... Services During Your Stay Pharmacy Assistive Technology and Seating Service Driver Rehab Service Recreation Choices Interpreter Services Spiritual Care Education and Information Volunteer Services Rights and Responsibilities Partnership for Care Our Responsibilities Your Responsibilities And Lastly G.F. Strong Centre Floor Maps

5 Welcome Welcome to the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre (G.F. Strong), a site of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. Our Mission and Vision Our mission is to provide excellence and leadership in patient care, research and teaching. Our vision is to be known world wide as an academic health sciences centre committed to excellence and progress within a complete health care system. History G.F. Strong Rehab Centre has long been known for providing quality health care to British Columbians with physical and cognitive disabilities. Dr. G.F. Strong and Mr. E.J. Desjardins first thought of the idea of a rehab centre in Dr. Strong became interested in rehab for people with spinal cord injuries when his daughter, Barbara, was injured. Barbara could not use her body below her waist and Dr. Strong could not find any services in Vancouver for her rehab. At the same time, Mr. Desjardins, who had been paralyzed during the war, was working for the Western Division of the Canadian Paraplegic Association. The Association wanted to make sure that people with spinal cord injuries could have the same services that the war veterans had. The two men worked together to build and run a provincial rehab centre. When the Western Rehab Centre first opened in January 1949, it had 13 beds and housing for a cook, an orderly, a cleaner and a domestic supervisor. Over the years it has grown to its present capacity of 108 beds. 1

6 The Centre's name was changed to the G.F. Strong Rehab Centre in 1957 after Dr. G.F. Strong died. Mr. Desjardins continued to play a major part in the growth and progress of G.F. Strong during his lifetime. He was Executive Director from 1948 until he retired in 1979 and kept working as a consultant until his death in Since G.F. Strong opened, it has grown both in size and in the services offered. Today, G.F. Strong provides rehab services to adults and teens for all of British Columbia and the Yukon on an inpatient, outpatient and outreach basis. The services are for people with: spinal cord injury arthritis stroke brain injury amputation multiple sclerosis amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) muscular dystrophy multiple trauma cerebral palsy spinal bifida burns Guillain-Barré other related disabilities Our Philosophy At G.F. Strong, we believe that rehab is about working to reach your highest level of independence and quality of life. In order for you to do this, we also believe in: Family Participation: You and those closest to you play a large role on a team that will work together to set and meet your rehab goals. We encourage you to involve family and friends in your rehab program. They will learn what challenges you face, how they can help and support you, and how, in turn, they can be supported. Mutual Respect: The rehab process is built on mutual respect and value for each person's unique role. Shared Responsibility: You and your family are both in charge of your part in the rehab process. The staff will be aware of your dignity, care for you as a person, and guide you towards independence. 2

7 Your Admission Please check that you bring the following: Medical Coverage When you come to stay, please bring: current personal BC Care Card any other health insurance papers (e.g. extended health) Toiletries You should also bring personal care items such as: a toothbrush and toothpaste a razor, shaving cream and mirror a brush and comb cosmetics soap shampoo/conditioner deodorant Clothing At G.F. Strong, our look is comfortable and casual. Bring enough changes of clothing of these types: washable, loose-fitting pants and shorts washable t-shirts or blouses underwear nightwear robe and slippers outdoor clothing, including a jacket and sweater flat shoes or runners bathing suit (in case you have pool treatments) Make sure that all of your clothes have your name written on them. 3

8 Equipment If you have any of these pieces of equipment, bring them with you: wheelchair and wheelchair cushion walker cane braces crutches lumbar (back) support splints self-care aids any medical appliances you use, e.g. glucometer Other Personal Items G.F. Strong has security services but things may still be stolen. You may bring any of the items below, but G.F. Strong is not responsible for damage or loss during your stay: books pictures small radio (with earphones) small tape deck/cd player (with earphones) portable TV/VCR (small portable TVs are provided in a few rooms with the Arthritis Program). Bring your own headsets. laptop computer (check with your program if you want to bring other computer equipment: there is not much space for personal items) Electrical equipment brought into G.F. Strong is checked by the Maintenance Department to make sure that it meets the Canadian Standards Act (CSA) requirements. Make sure your name is on all your personal items. 4

9 Money/Valuables We suggest that you do not bring valuables, including jewellery or large amounts of money. We are not responsible for losses or theft. (If you must bring a large amount of money, you can keep it in the Client Accounts Office.) You may keep smaller amounts of money in the locked drawer in your room. Finding Your Way Around When you arrive at G.F. Strong you will be taken to the floor where you will be staying. Someone on your team may give you a quick tour pointing out some of the areas you will be using while here. If you have any questions about where you need to be or how to get there, ask one of your team members or the unit clerk on your floor. If you have made any medical appointments before your admission, please tell one of your team members. They will try to arrange transportation for you if possible. What About... Your Room All the rooms at G.F. Strong are semi-private with two people per room. Two rooms share a half bathroom. Central shower/bath areas are on each floor. To be thoughtful of your roommate please keep your room tidy. If you put up posters and pictures, please hang them on the bulletin boards only. Please keep the volume of your sound equipment to a low level and turn it off (by 11:00 p.m.). We suggest earphones or a pillow speaker for your equipment. 5

10 Your Meals You will eat your meals in the day room on the ward or in the client cafeteria depending on your needs and abilities. If you do not plan to have a meal, please let the unit staff know at least one hour before the meal. The client cafeteria is on the main floor to your right as you leave the elevators. Here, your family and friends are welcome to join you for your meals. Outpatients and guests have to pay for their meals. The notice board at the cafeteria entrance gives the menu and prices. Shoes and shirts must be worn. Breakfasts Breakfast is served on the wards. On weekdays, breakfast is served from 7:30-8:55 a.m. On weekends, a continental style breakfast is served from 8:00-9:00 a.m. Cafeteria Mealtimes and Snacks Weekdays: Weekend: 10:00-11:00 a.m. Snacks 11:30-12:15 p.m. Brunch 11:40-12:45 Lunch 2:30-3:30 p.m. Snacks 2:30-3:30 p.m. Snacks 5:00-6:00 p.m. Dinner 4:40-5:45 p.m. Dinner If you are receiving meals on the wards, please go to the day room 10 minutes prior to the above times. There is also a 6:15-8:00 p.m. snack wagon available Monday-Sunday in the day room on each floor. *Special/therapeutic nourishments will be in the ward fridge at the above listed snack/ nourishment times and at 10:00 a.m. on weekends. Drinks and Snacks: 24-hour vending machines are in the cafeteria. Your Personal Laundry Clothes washers and dryers are on hand; ask when you may use them. Talk to the staff if you cannot do your own laundry. Your laundry bag is in the closet. Please make sure all your clothes have your name on them (ask about marking). A Telephone Regular phones You may have a private telephone put in your room. If you want a phone, call Telus at Be sure to tell the G.F. Strong switchboard when your phone will arrive. You must pay for the installation and all costs. 6

11 There are also pay phones on each floor. Please answer a ringing phone and record any messages on the message boards. The nursing unit phones are not for patient use. Family and friends may call you (after treatment hours and before 10:30 p.m.) using these phone numbers: 2nd Floor: or rd Floor: or th Floor: or Other pay phones are at the exit of the patient cafeteria. Cellular phones You may use cell phones in the main lobby in the basement in your own room if it does not interfere with the well-being of other clients You may NOT use cell phones on patient floors within two metres of any pacemaker, power wheelchair or ventilator in the treatment areas Parking & Transportation G.F. Strong is on Laurel Street one block east of Oak Street and one block south of West King Edward Avenue. Parking During the day and evening you and your guests may use the free visitor parking lot north of the main building. Parking for people with disabilities is available and clearly marked outside the main entrance. There is no overnight parking in any of the G.F. Strong Rehab Centre parking lots. For overnight stays, you can use the Children's Hospital parking lot; the entrance is on West 28th Avenue. Cars parked in unauthorized areas will be towed away. 7

12 Getting here by BC Transit A number of buses stop within one block of G.F. Strong. Call BC Transit ( ) for more information on schedules, routes, and wheelchair buses. Bus #25 East Bus #25 West stops at Oak Street and West King Edward Avenue stops at Laurel Street and West King Edward Avenue Bus #17 North stops at Oak Street and West 26th Avenue Bus #17 South stops at Oak Street and Nanton Street (West 28th Avenue) Visiting Hours Visits can be any time between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Please be thoughtful of your roommate if you have visitors in your room. Family and/or friends may come to the treatment sessions with you if you let the therapist know before your appointment. Safety & Security Infection Control To protect yourself and other patients from getting sick during your stay, please wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating or handling food. Doing this will help you have a safer, healthier stay. If you have questions about disease control, ask your nurse if you can speak with an Infection Control Nurse. Identification All staff members wear an identification badge that shows their photo. If you have any concerns, call a hospital staff member for help. Hallway Safety Please keep to the right of the hallway when moving in the building. If you are using a wheelchair, please travel at a medium speed. Bells and horns on wheelchairs are usually not allowed. 8

13 Elevator Safety You must enter the elevator on one side and exit on the other side. Fire Safety While at G.F. Strong, you will be part of fire drills. If the fire alarm rings, wait for instructions from the staff unless you are in a fire area. If you are in a fire area, someone will help you to a safe area. If you find, or think there is, a fire in the building, call for help from a staff person at once or pull the nearest fire alarm. Evening Outings and Weekend Leaves Leisure events in the community and visits home are encouraged and are part of your rehab program. Your doctor will order passes for you when you and your team decides it is safe. Each time you leave, you must let the staff know before you go and tell them what time you expect to return. Make sure you fill in the sign-out sheets at the main desk of each floor when you leave. Sunday - Thursday: you must be back by 9:30 p.m. Friday - Saturday: you must be back by 11:15 p.m. If you are going to be late, please phone the nursing unit to let them know. Special arrangements can be made through the nursing units to allow patients to enter the building after closing hours. Only in special cases can you take a leave that makes you miss a treatment. 9

14 Where Can I Find... Visitor Rooms The Centre does not have room for overnight stays but visitors can stay nearby at: Easter Seal House (two blocks away) Telephone: Toll Free: Heather House (one block away) Telephone: extension 5070 Sheraton Plaza 500 Hotel (a short bus ride away) Telephone: Toll Free: A place to meet with Family and Friends You can meet with one or two people in your room. You can also visit in: the dayroom on each floor (except at meal times) the front lobby the FarSide Lounge the cafeteria the parks around the building There are also many coffee shops and restaurants in the area. In addition, you may use the Living Room (Room 244) to spend private time with family/significant others. You can make bookings for the Living Room through the switchboard. They will give you a form which you must fill out and have a member of your team sign. In order to stay in the Living Room, you must also have a doctor's order for a day or overnight pass. Staff do not provide care in the Living Room. You must be able to care for yourself or arrange for your family or helper to give you care. 10

15 A Place To Smoke There is no smoking in G.F. Strong. If you wish to smoke, the designated smoking area is on the patio outside the patient cafeteria. A Post Office You can mail letters from the mailbox that is just outside the main entrance of G.F. Strong. The nearest post office is in the King Edward Mall (corner of Oak Street and King Edward Avenue). Bank Machines Bank machines are located in the King Edward Mall. Newspapers A newspaper machine is just outside the main entrance of G.F. Strong. Lost and Found Call the security if you lose or find anything. Well Wishes Well wishes in the form of s can be sent to Please include the patient s full first and last name on top of each . Two business days should be allowed for delivery. This system is intended for text messages only. Attachments will not be opened. Replies cannot be sent and receipt/delivery confirmation is not provided. GF Strong staff will print the message and seal it for delivery to the person s room. 11

16 Your Rehabilitation Program Your rehab program will help you reach your highest level of independence and quality of life. You will have different treatments and will learn about your disability. Your family and friends can give you support and make your discharge easier by being part of your rehab program. For example, they can go with you to the treatments and go to classes. Your Rehab Team You, your family, close friends, and the staff at G.F. Strong Rehab Centre form your rehab team. Remember you are the key team member. Many or few may be involved depending on your needs and wants. The team will help you set and reach your rehab goals. Your input and hard work are the main methods to reach your goals. Throughout your stay you will be encouraged to do things for yourself as much as possible. This will help you to be as independent as you can be. Your team will be there to give you support when you need it. Team Meetings Shortly after you are admitted, your rehab team will meet with you and your family to talk about: your goals plans for your rehab possible discharge plans Then the team meets regularly to talk about your progress, to decide on new plans and to discuss your return home. 12

17 Your Program Schedule Soon after you are admitted you will get a daily timetable of treatment appointments. This schedule may change often. Treatment sessions may be scheduled any time between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays with a one-hour break for lunch. You should go to all appointments and be on time. If you can not go to a treatment, please let the therapist know before the scheduled time. Sometime before or after breakfast, depending on your schedule, you will get washed and dressed in everyday clothes with the help of your occupational therapist or nurse if you need it. Please return to your room by 9:30 p.m. each night if you need help undressing. Your Rehab Team Members These team members may be working with you. The Doctor is the team member responsible for your rehab program and for taking care of the medical part of your treatment. The doctor keeps you, your family and referring doctor informed about progress. S/he talks with lawyers, insurance agencies, employers and others who need to know about your progress. If at any time you wish to see your doctor alone, please ask his or her secretary. The Rehab Nurse will help you with actions which you may find hard to do for yourself (such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and feeding) and will teach you new skills you may need to learn (such as skin care and bowel and bladder management). The rehab nurse will teach you and encourage you to do as much as possible on your own. This will help you to be as independent as possible. As the only member of the team to care for you 24 hours-a-day, the main job of the rehab nurse is to help you to practise the skills you have learned. The rehab nurse is also ready to listen to and offer emotional support to you, your family and your friends. 13

18 The Physical Therapist (PT) will work with you to regain as much of your movement and physical fitness as possible through a number of treatments. Exercises, which may include pool treatment, are to improve strength, flexibility, range of movement and stamina. You will receive advice about choosing and using proper equipment, e.g. walking aids, braces or wheelchair. Techniques to manage pain may include ice, heat, acupuncture or relaxation training. If needed, you will learn ways to help you breathe more easily. Your physical therapist will also suggest ways to help you stay active and independent after you leave G.F. Strong Rehab Centre. The Occupational Therapist (OT) will help you to regain the skills needed for everyday living, such as dressing, eating, bathing, and shopping, as well as for tasks related to homemaking, school, work and leisure. The therapist will also help you choose the right equipment to increase your freedom, such as bathroom aids and wheelchairs. If your home needs changes for better safety and access, an OT will assess your home. The Social Worker can talk to you and your family about how things are going and what the future holds. You may be concerned about your care at G.F. Strong, your feelings of sadness and confusion, your relationship with your family, or your future finances. The social worker will also work with you to help find housing, apply for financial support and arrange for help with your care needs. The Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) provides help for people who have had a change in how they are able to talk and/ or swallow. You may want help in making your speech easier to understand or in being able to say what you want in speech or writing. You may have a hard time understanding what people are saying to you or you may have some difficulty reading. The Speech-Language Pathologist will work with you to try to improve your skills and will also help you learn ways to deal with these changes. The SLP will also help if you are having trouble swallowing food or drink. 14

19 The Psychologist helps you to understand the changes in your thinking, memory or behaviour, which may result from your illness or injury. You may be given tests to assess a range of thinking and memory skills. The results of these tests can help to create the right treatment for you. The psychologist can also provide treatment for you and your family to understand how changes in thinking and behaviour may affect living in the community. The Recreational Therapist helps you and your family to explore recreation choices that will add to your health and rehab. Recreation is an important part of your life. A recreation therapist will help you discover leisure choices available in your community, develop skills, increase confidence and have fun. This is part of a healthy and active lifestyle after you go back home. The Sexual Health Clinician provides an opportunity for you (and your partner/family) to voice your concerns and to learn information about sexuality following an injury or illness. These concerns may be about sexual functioning, sexual relations or feelings you may have about yourself as a sexual person. If you would like to know more about this service, please ask your doctor or team member to refer you. The Dietitian is able to meet with you, your family, and /or caregivers to talk about nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle during and after your rehabilitation. If you have specific needs arising from a medical condition or cultural/religious preferences the dietitian can assist you with making appropriate menu selections. A referral to the dietitian may be made by any one of your team members. 15

20 The Teacher will help you with your school course work, test your academic skills and give learning help. Your counsellor and subject teachers at your home school will help plan your return to school. The teacher and other members of your team may go to your school to meet with your teachers and friends and teach them about your disability and how it might affect you at school. The G.F. Strong School Program takes students up to the age of 19 who have not yet graduated from high school. The Vocational Rehab Counsellor will help you develop a training or a return-to-work plan. This may involve assessing your skills, attitudes, interests, personal likes and needs. The counsellors also help with job searching, employer relations, job accommodation, advocacy and contact with community-based agencies. The Music Therapist is available to patients on the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Program and Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Team. You do not have to be a musician to benefit from music treatment. Music may help you achieve your rehab goals. You can choose to listen and relax to music, sing, play instruments and/or write songs. If you would like to see a music therapist, ask one of your team members to refer you. The Alcohol and Drug Counsellor offers support, education and counselling to help patients, family members and friends dealing with alcohol and/or recreational drug difficulties. S/he can explain not only how substance use will fit in with the many changes that have brought you to G.F. Strong but also help those seeking a fresh start and a road map to become free of the habit. If you would like to find out more, ask one of your team members to refer you. The Peer Mentor (spinal cord program) is a person with a spinal cord injury who looks at all aspects of your rehab from a user's perspective. He will assist you in dealing with physical, social and emotional issues that may arise. The peer mentor is there to help you and your family with education, problem solving, coping, and adjusting to living with a spinal cord injury. 16

21 Services During your Stay You may use these services during your stay at G.F. Strong Rehab Centre. Pharmacy At G.F. Strong, the pharmacy will usually provide your medicine. Please bring your own medicine (including vitamin or herbal treatments) from home so you can keep taking it. Once your doctor has prescribed any medicine you need while you are at G.F. Strong, the medicine you brought with you can be sent home or stored in the Pharmacy. During your stay you may be responsible for taking your own medicine. The pharmacist will tell you about this medicine and keep track of how well you are doing. Assistive Technology and Seating Service Technical Aids Lab The Assistive Technology and Seating Service operates the Technical Aids Lab for patients of G.F. Strong. The Technical Aids Lab has communication devices for people who cannot speak, and special computer systems and equipment to help you to control your TV, doors, telephone and other household appliances. You can try out and perhaps use these devices during your stay. We do not supply devices for use at home. Your team will help you get devices for use at home. If you are interested in using the Technical Aids Lab, ask one of your team members to refer you. Driver Rehab Service Driver Rehab Service is available at George Pearson Centre to provide the following: review of your skill to drive and licensing requirements on-road lessons in specially equipped vehicles help with choosing a vehicle evaluation and help with buying aids contact with the Provincial Department of Motor Vehicles You must pay for this service and your doctor must refer you. 17

22 Recreation Choices While at G.F. Strong, you and your family are invited to take part in the evening and weekend recreation programs both on-site and off-site. Whether you enjoy gardening, a beach barbecue or exploring the sights and sounds of Vancouver, our recreation staff offer many social and leisure programs, including outside group trips. When there is space, your family and friends are welcome to come along. You can also enjoy yourself: at a weekly evening swim program at Stan Stronge Pool at George Pearson Centre in the Artworks Studio, painting, drawing, potting, or... in the FarSide Lounge, with a pool table, air hockey and fooseball in the Music Studio sponsored by the Vancouver Adapted Music Society (V.A.M.S.) singing karaoke, playing the keyboard or composing your own lyrics practising adapted Tai Chi, a weekly program hosted by the Taoist Tai Chi Society and Douglas Park Community Centre Please ask your recreation therapist about the above and watch the notice boards in the Centre for event posters and details. In the Artworks Studio, a wide variety of choices such as painting, drawing, surface design on fabric, papier mache, pottery and more awaits. The Studio is a relaxing yet exciting place to explore your interests, develop your creative skills and work towards your rehab goals. Whether it is to learn the latest in art techniques or to help you learn ways to adapt to your favourite projects, the Studio staff will give you what you need to continue projects at home and in the community. Interpreter Services When staff and patients do not speak the same language, we will do our best to get a trained interpreter. We can provide interpreters for most common languages, including American Sign Language (ASL). If you have questions or would like the services of an interpreter, please ask a staff member for help. 18

23 Spiritual Care The Department of Spiritual Care and Multifaith Services is sensitive to and respects the differences in a multicultural population. Spiritual care is given to people of all religious beliefs who want to understand and deal with the challenges of their life and their rehab program. You can ask Spiritual Care staff to meet with you, your family and friends. If you are part of a religious group, we can help you make contact with a local church, temple, synagogue, etc. so that someone may visit you or you may take part in their services. When you are getting ready to leave G.F. Strong, we can help you connect with sources of spiritual support in your community. You can call the switchboard to get in touch with the Spiritual Care staff. Education and Information Your health care team provides information about your diagnosis, care and treatment. If you have more questions, you can find information through the following: education sessions offered by your team articles, books, pamphlets and videos available on your floor GF Strong Resource Centre Patient & Family Learning Centre located at Vancouver General Hospital, ( ) or Volunteer Services While at G.F. Strong you may meet one or more of our many volunteers. These people give their time and energy to help with our many programs and services. 19

24 Rights and Responsibilities Partnership for Care (Rights & Responsibilities for Clients, Families, and Staff) G.F. Strong Rehab Centre is a teaching hospital that strives to deliver quality patientcentred care. Patient-centred care is based on the understanding that you as a client at the Centre, along with your family and friends, form a working partnership with the health care team. We encourage you to discuss the following with any member of your health care team. Our Responsibilities... As a client in the Centre, you can expect us to: Mutual Respect Treat you with respect and dignity. Respect your privacy and confidentiality. Respect your right to make decisions about your care and treatment. Respect your right to seek a second opinion. Open Communication Involve you in the assessment of your needs and treatment plan. Provide the information you need for you to give informed consent for procedures and treatment. Provide information about any hospital research project directly affecting your care or treatment. We will accept your refusal to participate in any research without it affecting your care or treatment. Provide you with as much information as you want about your illness, care, tests and treatment in clear and simple language. Identify the members of your health care team and explain the role of each member. Introduce ourselves whenever we work with you, and explain what we are going to do and why we are doing it. Document the name of your spokesperson with whom you want the team to communicate. Follow-up and act on your concerns. Provide you with an interpreter to the best of our ability if you do not speak English or if you are hearing impaired. Work with you and your family/friend to prepare you for discharge. 20

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