Health & Senior Living

Mayo offers patients a Swing Bed option

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — The Skilled Rehab/Swing Bed program at Mayo Regional Hospital provides an option for patients who are transitioning from acute hospital care back to their home.
    In many cases, patients are not ready to return home following a hospital stay or surgery, even though they may no longer need acute-level care.

    “Patients may still need more help before they can care for themselves at home, but that help may be skilled rehabilitation treatments, rather than acute nursing care,” said Audra Rayfield, RN, Mayo’s swing bed coordinator.
    The use of swing beds allows patients to transition, or “swing,” from acute care to a skilled-nursing level of care without leaving the hospital, or even changing rooms. Examples of skilled rehabilitation services at Mayo include IV therapy, skin/wound care, physical therapy, post-operative orthopedic care, post-stroke care and end-of-life care.
    Many healthcare workers are engaged in providing this type of transitional care, including doctors and nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists, respiratory therapists, behavioral health specialists and activity coordinators. Other hospital departments — pharmacy, social services, discharge planning, pastoral care and dietary — also support swing bed patients.
    Rayfield said use of swing beds is not limited to patients who begin their hospital stay at Mayo. Patients who seek specialized hospital care in Bangor, Portland or Boston may come back to Mayo for a swing bed stay as part of their return home.
    Because the goal of a swing bed program is to help patients become as independent as possible, expectations are different than for a traditional acute-care inpatient. “We want those patients to dress in street clothes, eat meals out of bed, and participate in daily nursing or therapy rehab as needed,” said Rayfield.
    Many insurance companies pay for post-acute rehab services offered through the swing bed program. Mayo’s Social Services staff verifies insurance coverage prior to admission, coordinates care and develops a discharge plan to meet the individual needs of each patient.
    For more information on Mayo’s Skilled Rehab/Swing Bed program, contact Rayfield at 564-1602.

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