Treating the Body
Most patients at Cumberland have serious medical conditions that have reached a critical stage largely due to medical non-compliance. A pediatrician directs their medical care, which is administered by nurses on-site 24 hours each day.
Medical Management: Teaching patients more about their illness and the importance of medical self-management is a major program focus. Patients may practice managing their unique medical needs, such as monitoring blood sugar levels or skin integrity to watch for signs of breakdown.
With varying levels of supervision, patients are responsible for making appropriate decisions concerning diet, exercise and self-medication. If appropriate, patients may be involved in medication trials. Patients with neurological involvement may benefit from bowel and bladder training.
Patients with diabetes may benefit from Cumberland’s insulin management program, advancing towards use of an insulin pump system. The plan allows patients the freedom to choose the amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat desired, and then take insulin based on planned food intake. This plan helps give patients control over their lives, while helping them understand body chemistry and ways in which food and exercise impact their bodies. Patients must demonstrate maturity, independence and responsibility to be eligible for this program component.
Depending on the type of chronic illness and the child’s specific needs, the following services may be included in treatment: individual and group nutritional instruction, activity therapy sessions to learn positive leisure choices, exercise groups, Eating Attitudes Training (EAT group) focusing on eating patterns and self-care cooking skills, individual and group diabetes instruction, cognitive retraining, physical or occupational therapy and speech/language therapy.