LETTER: Exciting Changes In Local Rehab And Long-Term Care

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Note: Christine Baldini is a Lynnfield resident and the administrator of Hathorne Hill.  She formerly was the administrator of Cedar Glen Care and Rehab Center in Danvers.

As a Lynnfield resident and skilled nursing administrator for more than 10 years, it is exciting to see our area become the stage for a major transformation taking place in the rehab and long-term care professions.

Here on the North Shore, outdated nursing homes are being replaced with innovative centers that focus on getting patients back home and back to their routines.  These facilities are an important part of the health care continuum and play a vital role in reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions, providing intensive rehabilitation by trained therapists, so that post-acute patients get back on their feet and are ready to resume an independent lifestyle.  For patients whose illness requires skilled care around the clock, multi-disciplinary care is provided by physicians, nurses, therapists and other health care professionals. 

A modern rehabilitation and nursing center, in addition to clinical sophistication, will offer homelike features such as private outdoor settings, fireplaces offering relaxation, a meditation room for privacy and rejuvenation, all of which aid in the recovery process.  Patient-centered care will be at the heart of this new center.

What is patient centered care?  It is where patients, in collaboration with the medical director and the clinical team, direct the care and services that will be provided.  It is where patients express their preferences in the care that they receive.  The patient decides what time to get up, when to eat breakfast, and even what to eat for breakfast.  Patients are the decision-makers; not the care providers.

On the grounds of the former Danvers State Hospital, a health care relic from centuries past, a new health care center is rising that offers a glimpse into the future of long term care.

Hathorne Hill, a new rehabilitation and care center opening in January, will offer patient-centered care in an environment that’s specifically designed to aid recovery and enhance the overall well-being of each patient.   Comprehensive rehab services are paired with a patient gym to help patients transition from hospital to home.

For patients whose needs are too intensive to return home, a smaller portion of the center will be dedicated to skilled long-term care in yet another small neighborhood, void of long corridors and large central nursing stations found in traditional nursing centers.   

In this new environment, holistic and individualized care are important elements of comprehensive recovery.

Today’s seniors have spoken, and they want choice.   Care providers are listening.


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