A stroke strikes – a dreaded word that can cause paralysis, confusion, and drastic change. Is life over? The Providence Hospital Rehab team offers stroke victims more than a sunlit, spacious retraining center; their rehab mission is to guide patients and families back into living. If you or a family member has suffered a stroke, there is hope through rehab and therapy to improve mobility and quality of life.
Who is on the Rehab team?
The Rehab team consists of licensed professionals in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Several team members have advanced certification in neurological rehabilitation.
What can you expect?
Physical Therapy concentrates on strengthening, balance and coordination to enhance function and reduce the risk of falls. Susan Blount, PT says, “We evaluate the client and provide a treatment program targeted to meet his specific needs. Because strokes are devastating to families as well as the patient, we teach caregivers how to intervene without stifling a loved one’s independence.”
Occupational Therapy concentrates on upper body strengthening and activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and preparing a meal. Becky Parden, OTR adds, “Occupational therapy also helps a client recapture strength and coordination for fine motor tasks such as eating and writing, or work-related skills. We also address thinking skills like preparing a grocery list or following a recipe. ”
Speech Therapy concentrates on swallowing as well as speech/language skills. The patient may also need to relearn use of mouth and throat muscles to form words. After a stroke, individuals may need help expressing themselves or understanding what someone says. Speech therapist Fiona Byrnes -Flores explains that when a stroke affects the memory, it is similar to a filing cabinet being dumped on the floor. The speech therapist helps the patient “sort through and retrieve the information.”
What other kinds of problems does the team address?
The Neurological Rehabilitation Outpatient team provides services for individuals with these problems: standing or walking,balance or dizziness, muscle weakness, self-care, neuropathy, Multiple Sclerosis,Guillian Barre’ syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury. The Rehab team combines seasoned practice with cutting edge technology. Physical therapist Susan Blount sums it up this way. “We address any neurological condition that compromises function. It is easy for patients and their families to be overwhelmed. We’re here to serve, to care, and to heal…That’s what we do.”