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Quality of Life Key at Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon
By Vanessa Orr

Whether a person is undergoing rehab while recovering from a fall or surgery, or needs to stay in long-term care for the treatment of more complex medical issues, one of the most important aspects of their care is being able to recover in a positive healing environment.

"We believe that quality of life is important, so we strive to make it feel more like home here than a skilled nursing facility," explained Jes Delancey, marketing director at Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon. "We want our short-term patients to be able to make the most of their time here, and we want our long-term residents to be able to pursue activities that they used to enjoy."

The Transitions Healthcare activities team arranges numerous opportunities for people to get out of their rooms and socialize, including pet therapy a few times a week, and games like bingo and pakeno. "We recently had a Boy Scout Troop come in for caroling, and we also have a student who has played trumpet here," said Delancey.

A homelike setting helps encourage interaction between residents, whether they meet in the huge dining room, sofa sitting areas or at the pavilion areas outside. "When our residents can get outside, it helps them feel like happier," said Delancey. "We recently added a new putting green, which seems to really appeal to the younger clientele that we're getting; it's helping them experience a better quality of life with us."

The putting green is used as part of patients' therapies, and can be utilized by those who are ambulatory as well as residents in wheelchairs. "You don't have to be able to walk to play," said Delancey, adding that the activities team sets up friendly competitions and other events on the professional putting green.

In addition to providing activities, the Transitions Healthcare team also works to create a positive atmosphere for residents. "I believe that our customer service sets us apart; we follow the old adage, 'the customer is always right,'" said Delancey. "All of our new hires take a customer service training course and also wear a button that says, 'Smile.' This reminds them to smile, which puts everyone in a better mood, and creates a better environment.

"If there's an issue, we work to resolve it as quickly as possible; everyone from the janitor to the administrative staff is here to help," she added. Transitions Healthcare serves as a stepping stone for patients who need rehab after accidents such as slips or falls, or following surgery for joint replacements, among other procedures. It also partners with local hospital systems, including UPMC, Allegheny Health Network and Excela Health, to address more specific health problems from cardiac and pulmonary conditions to UTIs and wound care.

Through its Transitions Home program, staff follows patients after discharge for a year to make sure that they are receiving the services they need, including home health care, prescriptions and equipment, and more. "Once they go home, we stay in contact to make sure that they're receiving continuity of care," said Delancey of this innovative program designed to help people recover faster and return to the hospital less often.

To learn more about Transitions Healthcare, visit www.transitionshealthcarellc.com or call 724-864-7190.

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