What is Harpers House you ask? Simply put, it is a place where kids can be all that they can be! When a child has a big injury or illness they are recovering from, often times they lose their ability to do a lot of the activities they were able to do before. They are re- learning or learning new ways of doing all of the important tasks they could
once do with little assistance.
Harper's house will be used every day on the Children’s Hospital Rehab Unit to work on functional skills focusing on what we in rehab call ADLs and IADLs. ADLs, or activities of daily living, are tasks that need to be done every day. ADLs include: getting dressed, feeding yourself, brushing your teeth, taking a bath, using the bathroom etc. We will use this space to work on these tasks and promote a child being as independent as possible.
IADLs, or instrumental activities of daily living, are just as important. These include: completing household chores, meal preparation, shopping, money management skills, taking care of pets, accessibility in
school related tasks, and managing medications.
Harpers House is a space set up to be a little more like home. Sometimes the hospital environment is set up to increase accessibility, but this does not often translate to a home environment. At Harpers House things will be a little different… here we try to make the environment more like it would be at home. No walk-in showers or cut outs under the sink for wheelchairs. We practice just like it would be when you
get home so that when you get there, there are no surprises.
This space will allow us to trial equipment and other devices that may be beneficial to increase independence before going home so we know just what to recommend. It will give the children and their caregivers a place to practice all that they have learned in rehab and apply it to their home setting.
At Harpers House, just like your house at home, there will be a kitchenette where the kids on rehab can meal prep and cook simple meals (including one of our favorites…mini donuts!) They can practice feeding themselves, doing the dishes, and gathering supplies from higher surfaces. They can practice putting groceries away or even setting the kitchen table. Harper’s House has a computer and other assistive technology to increase access to the environment, technology, and school. There are several other activities
too that we will work on to increase independence.
Harpers House is a place where independence is key and each and every kid can be all that they can be!