Susan Bachner on Facebook

Evaluating Physical and Environmental Factors

Reducing the risk of falling
The NY Times reported on 11/3/14 in the article, "A Struggle To Keep an Aging Nation on Its Feet" that more than 2.4 million people over 65 were treated in Emergency Departments for injuries from falls in 2012 alone — an increase of 50% over a decade. Susan takes a good look at some of the physical and environmental factors that contribute to falling and suggests ways to increase safety at home.

Creating supportive environments to enable continuity of care
When physical and occupational therapists treat patients within out-patient settings, they know that they will be better able to ensure good clinical outcomes if the patient’s home environment is enabling rather than disabling. Susan, an occupational therapist with over 40 years of clinical experience with people of all ages and abilities, understands the pressures facing the healthcare team and uses her knowledge of how medical conditions impact on the functional behaviors of day-to-day living to facilitate the therapeutic efforts within the patient’s home setting. Susan’s services provide continuity of care by extending the efforts of the facility’s out-patient staff into the home.

Susan is a Certified Environmental Access Consultant (CEAC), a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), and has a Specialty Certification in Environmental Modifications (SCEM).

Working with Healthcare Professionals

In March, 2011, at the Dorland Health Silver Crown Awards Luncheon, Susan was a finalist and awarded 'honorable mention' - she was "recognized for her ability to communicate effectively with the healthcare team and translate the client's needs and wants into recommendations for products and structural modifications that improve safety, comfort and promote independence to the disabled."

Physicians, case managers, physical and occupational therapists, social workers and nurses - professionals who are treating patients with the goal of returning the person to home - often refer their patients to Susan for home modification services.

Returning home after a course of medical intervention is a time for celebration for the patient and family. However, this may also be the time when the returning patient realizes that the old routines and spaces create additional challenges. For instance, just getting into the house might prove almost impossible whereas before the hospitalization, it was just no big deal. Creating accessibility really is doable. Susan is trained to problem-solve accessibility barriers and recommend solutions for a safe and easier entrance. Susan is a member of the Home Builder's of Lexington's Remodeler's Council.

Adapting inaccessible spaces
Once in the home, inaccessible spaces or products used for daily living activities can further frustrate the individual. If home adaptation assistance is not available, the individual and family members often begin to feel overwhelmed. When the environment makes the job of living difficult, it is time to call Susan. Susan is trained to recommend products or devices that promote greater ease during activities of daily living (ADLs). The item might be as simple as locating a new stove-top dial for easier gripping or may be as involved as finding the appropriate ceiling lift for transfer assistance.

Susan responds promptly to healthcare team members who call on behalf of the patient who has just experienced a catastrophic trauma. Similarly, Susan welcomes partnerships with CSMA colleagues. If the goal is for the patient to return home, Susan is able to meet the patient in the hospital or rehabilitation setting and collaborate with the team to develop a life-care plan. She is experienced in problem-solving home adaptations for people with work-related injuries.

Here is what a Case Manager said about working with Susan:

“Susan Bachner Consulting enabled my patient to remain at home and be cared for by his family as opposed to an in patient long term care facility.

As a medical case manager I am often asked to coordinate home assessments for disabled patients. I am asked to assess the medical needs, type of home modifications & products that will be most beneficial for a patient while keeping in mind the comfort and safety of the patient and family. I am so thankful I found Susan Bachner Consulting. Susan provided a service that is very specialized and requires extensive knowledge and training. Susan was very professional and comprehensive in the services she provided to my patient and me.

Susan evaluated my patient’s home and made recommendations that assisted me in establishing both a short term and long term plan of care. Her recommendations were based on medical necessity but more importantly my patient’s safety was her first concern. Her evaluation was thorough and very detailed. My patient is now able to live in his home, with his family, in a home that is safe and handicap accessible. All of my patient’s medical needs are being met based on the plan of care recommended by Susan” Lisa C., RN, BSN, CCN

"I rely on Susan's expertise with confidence when I have to deal with a complex problem. Susan completes comprehensive research and analysis to make her recommendations specific to the needs of my clients. Her service often results in cost savings for my client and certainly pays for itself in the long run. She is a trusted colleague. - Esther Hurlburt, BSN, MDiv, Geriatric Care Manager, ParentCareKY