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Independence Square

A Unique Rehabilitation Environment

Posted on March 01, 2010 and filed under Stories.

The transition after surgery to independent living has a fresh, new approach, thanks to Independence Square at Saint Agnes Hospital.

The only one of its kind in Maryland, Independence Square is a 4800-square-foot virtual village. After surgery, patients can practice navigating their way through Independence Square, gaining skills and confidence before going back out on their own.

Inpatient Team Leader Betsy McBee leads a team of professionals who are expert in preparing patients for discharge. “Independence Square is so important because it allows us to individualize treatment, which alleviates anxiety,” she says.

In Independence Square, patients experience all types of surfaces they will need to navigate: grass, gravel, sand, curb, steps, ramp, cobblestones—even brick sidewalks. They also may engage in essential activities like shopping for groceries, boarding a bus or car, and using an ATM.

To master indoor activities, a three-room model apartment allows patients to spend time in a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, so they can learn how to get around in their own homes and complete everyday tasks. It is a great benefit to practice true-to-life situations in the safety of a medically supervised environment.

Saint Agnes’ rehabilitation staff was determined to create an aesthetically pleasing, life-like environment for patients. The car in the center of the village is real, and it’s parked near an everyday gas pump. To enhance the sense of authenticity, huge photo murals on the walls feature familiar sights in the community.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and other generous donors to the Saint Agnes Foundation helped make Independence Square a reality.

Click here for more information about Independence Square at Saint Agnes Hospital.

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