Donor’s Support Helps Patients Start Anew

NorthShore Rehab staff supporting rehabilitation medicine patient’s therapy with memory, cognition and physical dexterity activities

After 66 year-old Joe Georgopoulos suffered a stroke that impacted his left side, the NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) patient relearned everyday activities in a dedicated therapy environment on the second floor of NorthShore Evanston Hospital. The Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Suite, part of the Acute Rehabilitation unit, is outfitted to resemble a home. 

Thanks to the A.D. Johnson Foundation, the facility that rehabilitation patients use to make meals, work on computers and tablets, do laundry and practice everyday life skills has been refurbished and equipped with new appliances, counters and cabinets, a laptop, and a fresh coat of paint.    

“It was money well spent,” said Georgopoulos. “While recovering in the hospital, I was able to practice getting in and out of the bathtub with the side rails and stools they had set up in the suite.”

The mechanical engineer still has weakness on his left side, but he has learned to walk without a cane and is back on the job. Georgopoulos currently attends outpatient therapy to improve the function of his left hand at NorthShore Glenbrook Hospital, since it’s closer to his home in Northbrook. “The staff and the facilities have been tremendous at both Evanston and Glenbrook Hospitals,” he said.

“The ADL apartment is important because we can monitor the patients’ ability to work in the kitchen safely, for example, with their new impairment,” said Miledones Eliades, MD and physiatrist at NorthShore Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The A.D. Johnson Foundation has been supporting Rehab Medicine since 1998 and a generous donor to NorthShore since 1980.

“The equipment we have replicates what many will encounter when they go home,” added Dr. Eliades.  “We can analyze their ability to think clearly about tasks that we often take for granted, like folding laundry and preparing meals. It’s a working kitchen so we even have patients prepare recipes and cook for themselves to ensure they regain critical skills and build confidence for their return to independent or assisted living settings.”

“This philanthropic gift helps us do a better job of helping our patients,” said Dr. Eliades. “We’re very grateful to the A.D. Johnson Foundation.” With the gift, the department was also able to purchase a specialized wheel chair, computer programs to assist patients who use tablets as part of their therapy, and training materials for staff.

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