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Our Outpatient brain injury team of specialists includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, neuropsychologists and a psychologist. Upon referral to our program, our admissions team will complete an evaluation of your needs and work together with you to develop an individualized plan that is appropriate for you and the goals you have.
Our physical therapists diagnose and manage neurological movement dysfunction, promote health, and enhance physical and functional abilities. The main goal of physical therapy is mobility so you can return to your roles at home, in the community and at work. Physical therapy works with individuals to use limbs that have been weakened or paralyzed so they can walk, sit, stand, and get in and out of bed, a chair, and a car safely and all on their own.
After examining you and evaluating your condition, your physical therapist will develop an individualized plan to help you work toward goals and achieve the best quality of life you can. Your goals will broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks that build your confidence and abilities.
For example, your goal may be to play tennis like before the stroke. That's the goal, but that's not what we start with. We'll start with "Can you safely get out of bed? Can you safely go to the bathroom? How far can you walk safely?" All of that would come before we work on the levels of activities you did before the stroke.
Our therapists also provide Neuro-Integrative Functional Rehabilitation and Habilitation (neuro-IFRAH) based interventions. This treatment technique is when the therapist guides the person served through the most accurate and natural movements of daily activities to restore normal function. The goal is to restore the most "normal and healthy" movement patterns possible to the person served rather than using compensatory or unhealthy movement patterns.
Our occupational therapists address the function of each brain injury survivor in home management, self-care, work/leisure skills, and community living skills. Adapted devices and techniques, splinting, retraining, and educational interventions increase the ability to participate in functional, meaningful tasks at home and in your community.
Occupational therapy helps you relearn skills and activities so you can lead a full and independent life. This can be things as simple as dressing, bathing and doing your finances to more complex tasks such as preparing meals, driving and returning to work. Your occupational therapist will help you set goals which will broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks that build your confidence and abilities. Your occupational therapist will also evaluate your upper extremity function, looking for any weakness, loss of sensation, loss of coordination, or loss of fine motor skills.
Your therapist will also ask about your routines, hobbies and home environment to get a better understanding of how to help you. If you worked prior to the stroke, we'll try to get you back to work. If that's not possible, we'll work with you on skills so you can get a different job.
Speech therapy covers a wide range of post-stroke challenges, including difficulties with swallowing, issues with speech and understanding, and concerns with cognition. Our speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing disorders such as apraxia, dysarthria, aphasia, cognitive-linguistic deficits, and dysphagia. Augmentative and alternative communication and tracheostomy dependency supports are also offered.
Swallowing problems can impact your overall recovery from a stroke by preventing you from eating and drinking safely. This can lead to malnutrition and dehydration, and in severe cases, can lead to food entering the lungs. If you have issues with swallowing, your speech therapist will have you perform a series of swallowing tests that will help them create an individualized treatment plan to help you regain your swallowing skills and show you techniques to help compensate for any lost function.
Stroke can cause language impairment due to damage to the areas of the brain involved in processing language or due to loss of muscle control and muscle weakness in the mouth and throat. You might be able to speak just fine, but not be able to understand what is being said to you. Or you might understand just fine, but not be able to form words and speak. Your speech therapist will use a variety of activities to help you recover your speech, learn to speak more clearly, or help you develop new ways of communicating to compensate for limitations caused by the stroke.
Cognitive skills are your thinking abilities. It's how you use your brain to talk, read, write, learn, understand, reason and remember. These skills are key to managing everyday tasks and regaining your independence after a stroke. Cognition therapy will help you improve mental abilities and language skills damaged by a stroke.
Our neuropsychologists provide comprehensive cognitive and psychological evaluations focused on assessing the impact of cognitive and behavioral impairments on daily life activities. Emotional needs, as well as interventions to address substance abuse, sexuality, and overall adjustment issues are addressed in consultation with our rehabilitation counselor and psychiatrists.