Restorative Nursing at Renaissance Gardens at Riderwood is Redefining and Changing the Scope of Nursing Care

SILVER SPRING, MD (May 25, 2012) - A comprehensive restorative nursing program initiated by Renaissance Gardens,  the extended care neighborhood at Riderwood retirement community, has been key to its earned status as a Medicare Five-Star facility each year for the past five years. And it is redefining and changing the scope of nursing care. All long-term care residents are required to have an appropriate five-day restorative nursing program each week. Rehab staff evaluates these residents with the following two goals in mind: First, the therapist determines if the resident experiences a decline in function and, if so, a treatment plan is developed. The second goal focuses on evaluating the resident's current restorative nursing program to determine if it was still appropriate. If the program  is not appropriate, or if the resident currently does not have a program, one is developed and reviewed with restorative nursing assistants (RNAs) and the resident. Specific communication pathways for RNAs are established so they can communicate with the therapists in real time. As a result, the therapist is aware if  a resident begins to decline, which enables him or her to intervene before the decline becomes significantly detrimental to the resident. Renaissance Gardens today has an industry-recognized restorative nursing program with well-trained RNAs and a commitment from the administration to protect their time for restorative nursing. Generally, there are two "approaches" to restorative nursing: the designated model and the integrated model. The designated model relies on a specially trained nursing assistant to perform restorative activities. The integrated model relies on regular staff nursing assistants trained to incorporate restorative activities into their daily routines. The residents enjoy the increase in activities---both the physical activity and group atmosphere. This in conjunction with maintaining or even improving physical functioning results in a better quality of life for residents. In addition, the activity may play a role in Renaissance Gardens'' low rates of hospital transfers, pressure ulcers and depression. The restorative program also leads to higher utilization of therapy services for our long-term care residents, which translates into higher functioning residents and a 50 percent increase in non-skilled therapy revenue.