A combination of therapy services can help residents regain lost abilities.

A Targeted Approach—Finding the Right Blend of Therapy Services

For residents with health problems resulting from injury or illness, rehab services that can help them regain their strength, relieve pain, and regain other abilities are of vital importance.

In order to provide optimal outcomes for their residents, Skilled Nursing Facilities should implement a comprehensive plan that includes a combination of physical, occupational, and speech therapies in their rehab services.

Let’s look at why integrating these three types of therapy services can ensure ideal outcomes for SNF residents.

How Occupational Therapy Services Help Residents Regain Strength And Mobility

As adults reach their later years, their risk of injury increases, often in the form of falls and other accidents caused by limited balance, strength, or mobility. Environmental hazards in the home and lack of access to mobility devices like walkers and canes can also increase the risk of injury in seniors.

Rehab services such as occupational therapy can help promote ideal outcomes for seniors needing post-acute care as a result of a serious injury caused by falls or limited strength and mobility.

Occupational therapy focuses on a resident’s activities in their daily environment, with individualized programs that target residents’ risk factors specific to their unique situation. This type of therapy includes intentional movements and activities designed to help residents overcome challenges with completing activities of daily living (ADLs), which may include such basics as walking, bathing, grooming, and housekeeping.

Occupational therapists also play a key role in helping residents prepare to be discharged to home. They may review the home environment and provide feedback about improvements that will make the home easier to navigate.

How Physical Therapy Services Help Residents Regain Their Functional Independence

Physical therapy is another key component of many residents’ care plans. This type of therapy helps residents of all ages who have medical conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their normal ability to move and function in their daily lives.

Customized physical therapy programs can help residents return to their previous level of function and/or overcome limitations to their abilities due to age or condition.

Residents who’ve lost function and movement as a result of a stroke or other condition can benefit considerably from physical therapy services. That’s because this type of rehabilitation helps strengthen weakened areas of a resident’s body and improve gait and balance.

A physical therapy regimen may include therapeutic exercise, massage, and thermal therapy, among other activities.

How Speech Therapy Services Help Residents Communicate Effectively Again

Many medical conditions also impact a resident’s ability to communicate effectively, whether that’s through speech difficulties, issues with cognition, or both.

Speech therapy, also often referenced as speech/language pathology, can help residents overcome challenges with speech, swallowing, and cognition.

Effective speech therapy services can quickly determine if a resident’s problem is actually language-based and develop programs that will address it. A comprehensive evaluation can be done to determine if the communication problem is due to medications, psychological behaviors, or other factors. Once the underlying factors are determined, providers can create an individualized regimen of speech therapy.

As residents grow older, their vocal chords become less elastic and larynx muscles may weaken, making their ability to talk more difficult. For residents with speech issues due to the natural aging process, speech therapy can help residents relearn how to speak, with vocal exercises to help them communicate clearly and effectively again.

For residents who develop a language, swallowing, or cognition impairment due to a stroke, speech therapy can help them recover their abilities as much as possible.

Speech therapy services may include melodic intonation therapy, support groups, visual speech perception, and constraint-induced language therapy, where a scenario is created using only spoken words, with no visual cues.

At Apex Rehab Solutions, we work hard to ensure the highest quality of resident care through a targeted combination of physical, occupational, and speech therapy services. Partner with us today by calling (412) 963-9698.

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