Since the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), or the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, federal standards have been in place to regulate efforts to address a resident’s quality of life (QOL). These federal standards identify six principles of QOL, including: sense of well-being, satisfaction with life/oneself, self-worth/self-esteem, satisfaction with environment and care, goals, and control. New data gathered during the COVID-19 era highlights the necessity to prioritize QOL, revealing that adverse effects of isolation have resulted in cognitive, psychosocial, and physical decline for many in post-acute care settings.
Because QOL is a multi-dimensional concept, this essential component of health and wellbeing should be addressed through the comprehensive efforts of an IDT. Each member of the IDT plays a distinct role to promote a resident’s QOL. Consider implementation of some of the following interventions for improved QOL within your facility:
- Identify resident-specific interests and provide opportunities for participation in these activities on a regular basis. Consider virtual leisure opportunities, as well.
- Improve the resident’s health literacy to promote wellness and prevent future injury/illness.
- Execute environmental modifications that promote greater participation for all residents in activity groups.
- Implement a facility-wide screening process for identification of depressive symptoms in residents.
- Offer scheduled check-ins to allow residents the opportunity to present questions/concerns.
- Consult with key players to identify activity groups, community outings, events, speakers, and responsibilities that could serve as opportunities for resident participation.
- Provide stress management and relaxation strategies for residents and healthcare workers in the facility.
As experts in analysis of performance and participation, PT, OT and SLP can assist in assessing the resident’s functional abilities and tailoring interventions, like those listed above, to achieve person-centered goals. With the unique lens and contribution of each additional member of the IDT, these interventions can become reality; ultimately maximizing QOL, functional outcomes, and patient satisfaction.