Specialized Patient Services - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Specialized Services for RIC Patients

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) has developed a number of services to meet the specialized needs of our patients:

Adapting to Daily Living

RIC Apartment for Adapting to Daily LIving

In order to help patients further their rehabilitation and prepare to return home, RIC has an apartment set up on the 12th floor of its flagship hospital. The apartment includes an entryway, bedroom, bathroom and a working kitchen. Patients work with their therapists to complete a variety of tasks in a home-like setting.

The apartment includes several modifications to make it more accessible for those with compromised mobility. For example, the refrigerator handle has been adapted, the cabinets have been reorganized and the kitchen includes a pull-out cutting board. The bathroom has a curbless shower, shower chair and grab bars. The bedroom also features a lift and an inclining bed.

Apartment Overnight Program

The Apartment Overnight Program serves as a unique opportunity for individuals and their caregivers to practice the skills they have learned during therapy in a simulated home environment. By taking part in the program, all parties involved can identify areas that require further assistance, education or practice before the patient leaves the inpatient rehabilitation environment.

Learning to shower again in RIC simulated home

Patients who qualify to take part in the program may do so on the recommendation of their attending physicians. They will have access to the apartment from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night. A patient care technician will be outside the apartment all night and will check in periodically. Therapists will work with the patient and his or her caregiver before the overnight stay to determine a plan and set goals for the evening.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the apartment overnight program?

It is a program created to better prepare patients and, if appropriate, their caregivers for discharge by allowing them to practice skills learned in the inpatient rehabilitation setting in a simulated home environment.

What are the safety precautions for this program?

A patient care technician will escort the patient and caregiver to the apartment and remain outside of the door at all times. He or she will check on the patient/caregiver at routine intervals and will be in communication with the patient’s primary nurse. In addition, there are call lights in the bedroom and bathroom that signal an audio/visual alarm on the 12th floor. Finally, a list of emergency numbers and a fire egress plan is provided in a comprehensive Overnight Apartment Program Binder in the apartment.

Can the patient use the stove, oven, or knives for meal prep?

No. Due to safety regulations those items and appliances are NOT to be used during overnight program.

How is the patient/caregiver prepared for this program?

A member of the patient’s rehabilitation team will orient him/her to the apartment prior to the program, including the adaptive equipment that will be provided during the stay.

Can a patient who has an area pass use them during the program?

No. They may only take cigarette breaks per their doctor's orders. The purpose of the program is to work on apartment, not community, goals.

What type of patients are appropriate for this program?

Patients who are best suited for this program include individuals who are unsure of their ability to return to home, patients who have been unable to participate on a day pass due to logistical reasons, those with a current fall assessment rating that is low or none and patients with caregivers who would like to try out their skills in a rehabilitation environment before returning home.

Can the patient stay in the apartment alone?

Yes. If the patient meets all of the requirements for the program, he or she may stay without a caregiver, although the technician will be outside the door checking in every 3 hours.

Assistive Technologies

High-Tech for Greater Ability

Rehabilitation therapy can go far in helping you regain abilities and independence. But when rehabilitation alone is not enough, the Assistive Technology Program may offer solutions to facilitate skills that you once thought impossible.

For more information, visit RIC Assistive Technologies Program.

For Families of Patients with Brain Injuries

Circle of Caring Program

The Circle of Caring Program is designed to help families learn about all the different and varied outcomes that are possible for their loved one, as well as some of the long-term challenges of life after a brain injury. The goal of the program is to help families of traumatic brain injury patients to begin to identify and gather resources, and to provide them with education, support and guidance for the future. Families may experience changes in family roles, daily routines, transportation and home environment. The Circle of Caring Program can help caregivers the right tools to adjust to these changes.

The goal of the program is to provide families ongoing support during rehabilitation at RIC through:

  • Determining the particular needs of your family situation
  • Helping you understand the changes that may accompany brain injury
  • Developing an individualized plan for you and your family

At RIC we also want to make sure that families have access to resources and support as the patient returns to his/her community through:

  • Ongoing support even after discharge from RIC
  • An ongoing review of your family's individualized plan
  • A continuation of the Circle of Caring Program, even at other levels of care, including day rehabilitation and outpatient care
Medical Program for Performing Artists

The Medical Program for Performing Artists is located at RIC's flagship hospital at 345 E. Superior Street, in Chicago. The program offers physician consultations and therapy appointments.

For more information, visit RIC Performing Arts Medicine.

Pet Therapy

Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is the use of a dog to facilitate positive changes in a broad spectrum of therapeutic settings. Under direction of health services and education professionals, animal-assisted therapy can promote physical movement, emotional well being, cognitive awareness and social improvement for people with disabilities.

Canine Companions for Independence

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's (RIC) own canine companion service dog is utilized to assist patients with various physical, cognitive and emotional treatment goals. These goals are met through individual treatment or visits to the patient units handled by trained recreational therapists. Georgia is RIC's own black Labradoodle canine companion. Read more about Georgia.

Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinical Center
Robot-Assisted Walking Therapy Using the Lokomat

RIC provides robot-assisted walking therapy using the Lokomat® to help people improve their ability to walk after disability caused by brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, or neurological and orthopedic conditions. Robot-assisted walking therapy may not be appropriate for everyone, and certain medical conditions may prohibit your participation in this activity.

Please visit Robot-Assisted Walking Therapy Using the Lokomat®.

Second Opinions for Spinal Cord Injury Patients

The Second Look Program offers people with all levels of spinal cord injury, including those using ventilators, a care management update that will help them achieve the best life possible.

Visit the Spinal Cord ExpertEval/Second Opinion program.

Sexual Dysfunction Clinic for Men with Spinal Cord Injury
Wheelchair Seating and Positioning Center