Quality Care

June 3-9, 2004
Quality Care
By Kristen Fox / SUN  Staff Writer
Expanded Fahey Rehabilitation Center to Showcase Latest Trends and Techniques

The month of May is Older Americans Month. This year’s theme — Aging Well, Living Well — celebrates and recognizes older Americans who are living longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Loretto is one agency in Central New York that is contributing to this advancement. It is Central New York’s largest senior care provider, serving 4,000 older adults each year at 18 different sites. With the expansion and renovation of its 98-bed Fahey Rehabilitation Center, Loretto hopes to continue to improve the quality of life for its patients.

As a nonprofit network of agencies, Loretto offers a wide range of services from community-based care and residential services to rehabilitation and skilled nursing care. It places a strong emphasis on advancing the dignity, independence, choices and safety of the elderly population. On Thursday, June 10 from 4 p.m.to 6 p.m., Loretto will hold an Open House at its Fahey Rehabilitation Center. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the recently expanded and remodeled facility. Rehabilitation staff will also be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate the new, state-of-the-art equipment.

The Fahey Rehabilitation Center is housed in Loretto’s Cunningham/Fahey skilled nursing facility at 700 East Brighton Avenue. It is the largest rehabilitation center in Central New York, serving men and women of all ages. It is located on three floors in the Cunningham/Fahey facility, dedicated specifically for rehabilitation patients. In addition to state-of-the-art treatment, the Fahey Rehabilitation Center offers private rooms, air conditioning, bedside phone service, a safe and secure campus setting, transportation assistance and a rate of patient improvement 30 percent ahead of the national average. The center was named in honor of Msgr. Charles J. Fahey, longtime Syracuse priest and nationally renowned expert on healthcare ethics and aging.

The remodeling of the Fahey Rehabilitation Center doubled its size, said Lena Chase, who serves as corporate director of rehabilitation. “There are around 70 to 90 short-term rehab visits to Fahey each day,” said Chase. “The newly expanded site will give us more room to improve the quality of care for our patients.” The expansion began in January and took approximately three months to complete. During the remodeling, the center continued to offer its full range of services to patients.

Several new therapy features are of particular interest to older adults and their loved ones, noted Chase. There are a variety of new physical therapy exercise areas, machines, and occupational therapy practice areas. In addition to machines with names like “Kinitron” and “Newstep,” the Fahey Rehabilitation Center has added a “Transit” machine that enables patients to practice getting in and out of a car. The renovated facility also includes an indoor walking track, a ramp and curb practice area along with grass, gravel and cement practice surfaces. Simulating real life experiences for patients in rehabilitation is vital, Chase. “Our goal is to get all our patients back to their prior physical function status. We must tackle every obstacle they will run into. By having this equipment internally we can prepare them to go home and continue their normal lifestyle,” said Chase.

During 2003, in response to community need, the Fahey Rehabilitation Center began admitting patients needing specialized services not always found in a nursing home setting, Chase said. Those services include intravenous (IV) care, respiratory care and care for those receiving dialysis treatment at another facility in the community. “Our mission is to provide the highest level of care to our patients in a happy and positive atmosphere,” Chase said.

For more information on Loretto visit www.loretto-cny.org.

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