Residents under the age of 60 are a growing population in Long Term Care (LTC) facilities around the country and healthcare professionals are interested in how Therapy is going about treating this demographic. We attempted to complete online research regarding this question; however, to no avail, as there is currently little to no research regarding how therapists interact with this patient population in LTC settings. Therefore, in order to collect information regarding this question, West Virginia Therapy Services polled the Rehabilitation Departments in each facility that we currently provided services in.
Our Survey was conducted in two parts. Part One consisted of a general questionnaire to collect population/demographic information. They were:
- Have you treated a patient/resident in one of the following age groups over the last 3 months? Please choose 1 based on the younger age group having priority.
i. Age 20-30
ii. Age 31-40
iii. Age 41-50
iv. Age 51-60
v. I have not treated anyone in these age ranges
- If you selected an age range in the previous question, how many patients/residents have you treated in that age range during the last 3 months?
iv. 10 or more
- In the patients/residents that you treated, what was the primary medical diagnosis leading to their admission?
Part two of this survey consisted of asking questions designed to collect more specific information, based on the responses given to Part One. These questions were in relation to progress made toward plans of care, and to assess if modifications were made to treatment plans based on demographic information. We also wanted to know if these residents participated in facility based leisure activities, or if they felt uncomfortable attending events because of their “younger age” in relation to the general population. Specific questions included:
- Name the top 3 patient diagnosis that you have seen in the age range of ___ and ____.
- How many patients did you treat in this age range?
- Of the number of patients listed in #2, how many were discharged for making progress toward and/or meeting all goals?
- Do you have any Success Stories that you would like to share in regards to working with this age range?
- How well did these patients respond to the residents in the facility?
- Did these residents participate in any activities in the facility? If so, please list them.
- If you had an elderly resident with the same diagnosis, would you have treated them the same?
- Did age play a factor in your treatment plan?
If anyone reading this Blog Series would like to provide answers to Part One and Part Two of our Patient Demographic Questionnaire, we would welcome any additional information. The LTC facilities we currently provide therapy in are located in Northern and Southern Parts of West Virginia. We would be curious to see if your results are similar to ours, or, if there is also a cultural component to this question.
We have analyzed the data collected and will provide a summary of our results in Part Two of this Blog Series.