Posted on January 11, 2018

A Simulated Living Suite opened at Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI) last year is helping patients re-learn the skills needed to regain their independence and reintegrate into the community.

The suite, which is also called an Activities of Daily Living (ADL) room, is a home-like environment with an accessible bedroom and attached bathroom. It has a living room with a television, an accessible kitchen, and specially adapted equipment. A washing machine, accessible doors and windows, electric switches, plug points, a washing basin with taps, and adapted switches are also part of the room. Since the suite opened, a number of patients with disabilities have been successfully rehabilitated and are now confidently living independently within their own homes. Patients who develop a disability after a stroke, spinal cord injury, head injury, Guliiane Barre syndrome (a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system), and multiple trauma-related injuries can relearn daily tasks with activities organized in the suite.

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The self-care retraining suite’s activities are part of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) cutting-edge occupational therapy treatments that allow patients with disabilities to practice self-care activities under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist (OT). Commenting on the role the ADL suite plays in a patient’s rehabilitation, Mr. Sultan Al Abdulla, Chief of Occupational Therapy at the QRI said: “An Occupational Therapist helps patients develop and/or regain the skills they need to return to independent living. The team works with patients to help them carry out the tasks they need to do at home, at work, and in the community.”

He added that at the Simulated Living Suite, Occupational Therapists help patients learn how to use the accessible kitchen, bedroom, and living room by enabling them to practice carrying out different tasks such as cooking, by using equipment adapted to their needs. “We advise patients and their families on the importance of home modifications by actually showing them how it should look and allowing them to practice carrying out tasks in the adapted areas,” said Mr. Al Abdulla.

Mr. Al Abdulla mentioned that there are plans to expand the suite’s services by introducing assistive technology. “Electronic aids to daily living (EADLs) enable people with disabilities to have more control of their environment. When a person lacks mobility, motor or cognitive skills that prevent them from performing even the simplest tasks, EADLs can provide them with some basic control over their daily life. Individuals can control even the smallest amount of movement using, but not limited to, various types of adapted switches. This is being planned for the future,” he added. 

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