“The organisation is about social good and to be able to make the lives of the spinal unit a little bit easier, that’s wonderful.” - Carmel ConagHan, CEO of RDNS
The Royal District Nursing Services (RDNS), pictured right, have made a huge difference to the lives of patients at the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit (ASRU).
Recently, the patient kitchen at the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit was upgraded allowing patients to access the kitchen easily, whether they are able to stand or seated in a wheelchair. Carmel Conaghan, CEO of the Royal District Nursing Services, was pleased with the response. “The organisation is about social good and to be able to make the lives of the spinal unit a little bit easier, that’s wonderful."
The bench has been replaced and extended to allow patients in wheelchairs to access a portion of the bench. In addition, a space as been left under the sink to make the kitchen wheelchair friendly. A new assest to the kitchen is are the tall cupboards. The cupboards allow patients and family to store food that may be more to their preference and taste. This is great for patients who may get hungry between meals. The smaller cupboards were replaced and positioned higher to create a safer environment for patients. Previously, the kitchen was crammed and did not allow enough space.
Numerous kitchen appliances were donated by the Royal District Nursing Services, making the unit feel more welcoming and homely for patients who are going through a difficult experience. For the first time in 10 years the unit has two new microwaves, a new oven, a new and functional dishwasher, and an extractor. The new patient kitchen and appliances will allow patients plenty of access and a tidy environment. It has been designed to inspire patients about the opportunities there are to adapt the kitchen, and how they could design their own kitchen for when they go home.
The new kitchen has been designed to be modest as there are intentions for a new specialist rehabilitation unit. This redesign has been as a learning tool for staff when considering future designs. In the future, the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit would like to have have adjustable benches that move up and down to allow both standing and wheelchair access. Dana Ralph-Smith, General Manager of Adult Rehabilitation & Health of Older People, felt extremely grateful for the donations by the Royal District Nursing Services and is excited for the future, “It’s the beginning of a journey, and I really appreciate you coming and starting on our kitchen journey with us.”
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