Wind Chaser A-Kuan

A-Kuan's in-home rehabilitation started from an application form sent to TFRD's Taichung Branch Office. His goal was clear - he wanted to be able to walk with an assistive device. With Wilson's disease, A-Kuan's arms, legs, and mouth often fail to receive commands from the brain, and his mental state is also affected. One time, he ran out of the house in a fit of anger and ended up in a serious car accident. His legs were severely injured by comminuted fractures, leaving him in a wheelchair until now. The accident was a big blow to A-Kuan. After years of depression, he finally resolved to pull himself together on that day.

After an assessment at A-Kuan's home, the physical therapist recommended clearing an aisle for him to move to the living room with a walker since his hands were still functional. The physical therapist also advised A-Kuan should undergo foot surgery to relieve the contracture of his feet, or use hand massage and sports patches to help alleviate the stiffness of his feet. After a few rounds of rehab, the contracture of his feet improved slightly. With the training of his core muscles, he was one step closer to his goal. Thanks to TFRD's Home Visit Service Team (HVST), A-Kuan has found a way to better his life. With the encouragement of the physical therapist, he has regained the spirit of his former self.

A-Kuan's story:

Home Visit Service Team

In order to better reach our patients and bring our service directly to them, in 2007 we established the rare disease home visit service team, bringing physical therapists, language therapists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, psychology counselors and volunteer workers to patients’ home. In this way, patients who cannot leave their homes can still receive proper care and service. 

Patients can submit application to TFRD and our service team will evaluate patients’ condition and send proper therapists to patients’ home. TFRD’s social worker will also accompany the therapist. Normally the service team will pay 6-8 visits per case, subject to the patient’s condition. Besides instructions on rehabilitation skills and self-care skills, service team will also evaluate and improve the assistive technology or facilities such as handrails or non-slip mesh in patients’ homes. 

For those patients who need someone to talk to, TFRD will also arrange patients to go with the service team. Sometimes, it is the best for patients to talk to someone who really have experienced and understand the pain they are going through. 

Many patients, after receiving service team’s help, have improvements in physical movements (joint activity, flexibility, muscular strengths, pain relief and skills in correctly using assistive technology). For those who accept psychology services, their self-acceptance elevated, and are more willing to accept people outside, even returning to their original job. 

We also cares for the caregivers. In 2019, TFRD’s Kaohsiung Branch Office launched the first "Caregiver Aromatherapy" service. Three aromatherapists were invited to visit caregivers who rarely go out due to long-hour taking care for their family member with mobility impairment at home. The aromatherapists visited the patients' homes to teach them self-maintenance skills, hoping to help them understand their physical and mental state, and to reduce the caregivers' stress.

For the first time in 2020, TFRD’s Taichung Branch Office offered "Animal Assisted Therapy" for patients with limited emotional expression as well as lack of channels to voice their feelings. Through the interaction with professionally trained therapy dogs in their homes, they could learn to express their emotions, empathize with others, and care for others, thereby gaining confidence and inner peace.

From these changes, we can see that this service is gradually helping the patients. Since 2007 to 2020, Home visit service was brought to 4,053 patient family members. 

Table: 2020 Home visit service