Big accomplishments arise from many small successes. Independence Square is a community of step-by-step successes and celebrations for persons who are working to regain living skills lost because of a brain or spinal cord injury, stroke, or other neurological or orthopedic illness. At Independence Square, success is celebrated by mastering one task at a time:
- learning to climb a stair again
- counting change correctly
- ordering from a menu
- maneuvering around a curb
- pounding a nail
Relearning each lost skill moves a person one step closer to the ultimate celebration of personal independence and a new beginning.
A Natural Extension of Expertise
Independence Square is the newest addition to the Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital's rehabilitation continuum and is the only facility like it in the area. Independence Square is located on the fifth floor of the west wing of the Hospital, next to the inpatient Rehabilitation Center. With Independence Square just down the hall, patients will be able to work at rebuilding their skills during their hospitalization, in addition to participating in scheduled outings into the community.
The care and treatment plan at Independence Square is supervised and carried out by a highly skilled team of inpatient professionals: physical, occupational, speech, and recreational therapists; social workers; discharge planning nurses; and rehabilitation nurses and physicians. All are dedicated to helping patients pursue a plan of treatment that will enable them to live life as fully as possible, regardless of the nature of their individual challenges. Independence Square is a major step in helping individuals attain the goal of personal independence and re-enter the community as soon as possible with self-confidence and skill.
Learning in a Safe, Controlled Environment
At Independence Square, patients learn to walk, talk, think, write, and pursue daily living activities in a controlled, real-world setting. This city block, located at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital, Marshfield, contains a simulated street complete with working replicas of a:
- grocery store
- farm work area
It also presents many familiar obstacles:
- concrete sidewalks
- in-store lighting and flooring
- heavy doors
- sloped floors
- tight spaces
Here, individuals can learn how to maneuver with a newly acquired wheelchair, cane, walker, or prosthesis. They learn how to reach for items on grocery shelves and carry them without losing their balance. They practice getting in and out of a car, using bank teller machines, and maneuvering around theater or church seating. They can also learn how to load items into a car or onto a pickup truck bed and how to bend over properly to work in a garden.
Some also practice cognitive skills--such as filling out bank deposit slips, counting change, and checking a list.