How to combine VENDLET and rehabilitation
Some health care professionals think that using a VENDLET system will lead to pacifying the client during transfers. However, VENDLET can be used both by the client themselves and as part of rehabilitative efforts depending on how health professional chooses to engage the client.
3. May 2022
Rehabilitation and making use of the client's functions is an essential element within the health and care sector. Therefore, we at Vendlet also regularly experience that healthcare professionals at all levels are afraid that a powered turn aid deprives clients of their last functions, or that the system does not allow for engaging the client’s remaining functions.
Fortunately, a powered turn aid and rehabilitation can easily be combined! It is simply a matter of evaluating the client's functions, and then figuring out how to engage them in the transfer. This can for example be done by activating the client's arms using aids such as bed straps or by letting the client operate the hand control themselves.
Client with Good Functions
If the client has sufficient cognitive and physical functions to operate the VENDLET system, the client can feel freedom and independence when given this opportunity. This will also increase the client's comfort and well-being, as he or she can reposition themselves as needed instead of having to wait for a helper or relative.
Someone who has been successful in using the VENDLET system herself in this way is Fiona from England, who can turn herself over during the night using the VENDLET system. Watch an interview with her here.
Of course, it is always important that a preliminary risk assessment has established that it is safe for the client to operate the VENDLET system independently.
Clients with Limited Functions
Even if the client does not have sufficient functions to operate the VENDLET system completely independently, it can be advantageous to let the client take part in the transfer process in other ways.
For example, if the client has enough cognitive and physical functions to operate the hand control, caregivers can simply guide the client's arms or legs during the transfer. It can have a rehabilitative effect for the client to be challenged in such a way.
If the client has the physical ability to contribute to the transfer, caregivers can make use of these by using manual transfer aids such as slide sheets or handles/grips.
In the video below, we show you some examples of ways in which the client can be involved when being turned from their back to a side-lying position. The video provides three examples:
- Turning over a client with a high level of functioning (Let the client make the transfer independently)
- Involving a client that is paralysed in the legs (Let the client actively participate in the transfer using small aids)
- Involving a client who only has function in one arm (Let the client operate the hand control)
In addition to the ways shown in the video here, the VENDLET system also provides another benefit when it comes to rehabilitation, as it is possible to move the client sideways in bed. This means that you can move the client very close to you if he or she needs help performing training exercises in bed. This minimizes your reaching distance and thus improves your work health and safety.
Practice Makes Perfect
Letting the client use the VENDLET system independently, or involving them in the transfer, is not something you just do. In all cases, it is important to practise the turning process with the client many times so that he or she feels comfortable. But like with everything else - practice makes perfect!
Instead of being afraid to pacify the client, and hence choose not to implement a powered turn aid, VENDLET opens for new ways of working with rehabilitation that can benefit both the client and caregivers.
As such, it is possible to implement the system in those situations where the transfer of the client is too straining for care staff, but where the concern has been that a VENDLET would deprive the client of their last functions. At the same time, VENDLET provides a real opportunity for increased independence and quality of life for the client.
However, it is important to emphasize that rehabilitation and transfer do not have to be combined. It is important to consider if including rehabilitation in patient transfers risks having a negative impact on the working environment of the staff because they want to use aids that prioritize engaging the client higher than the working environment.
Likewise, the inclusion of rehabilitation in all care tasks can reduce the client's opportunity to participate in other social and physical activities, because they subsequently do not have enough energy for the rest of the day.
In that case, rehabilitation and transfer should of course be separated into two different activities - Sometimes rehabilitation should be preserved for times when it has its own focus!