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Inova Outpatient Rehab Program – Treatment Team - Your Providers

Social Work

As part of your outpatient rehabilitation team, your social worker provides you with assistance identifying community resources for long-term support to you or your family member including, but not limited to, caregiver resources, social services, meal assistance programs, and support groups. He or she may also assist you with navigating disability requirements and completing disability paperwork. Your social worker can help you or your family with coping and adjustment as a result of the changes that have occurred following your medical event. These services can help alleviate some of the additional stressors resulting from your illness or injury, so you can focus on getting the greatest benefit from your rehabilitation program.

Physical Therapy

  • Strength, movement and endurance
  • Functional mobility
  • Balance and coordination
  • Education and safety

We are thankful to our dedicated therapists who continuously utilize the latest evidence-based interventions, seek professional development through specialty certifications and continuing education, and provide customized treatment plans to each patient in order to maximize their independence and safety with all aspects of mobility.

Occupational Therapy

  • Self-care and living skills
  • Vision and visual-perception
  • Cognition (thinking skills)
  • Education and safety
  • Arm function

Self-care and daily living skills: Many patients are unable to perform routine daily tasks and must depend on others for basic self-care such as bathing, using the toilet and dressing. Your occupational therapist will assess your ability to perform daily activities and assist you in practicing the skills needed to reach greater independence. Daily living skills may be used to improve mobility, strength, motor control, endurance, and/or coordination. If you need special equipment, your occupational therapist may recommend it and help teach you how it should be used.

Vision and visual perception: Some patients may have visual or visual perceptual problems that reduce their ability to understand what they are seeing and how this affects their ability to function in their environment. Your occupational therapist will help identify troublesome areas, work on these problems through specific exercises and activities that teach compensation techniques for these deficits.

Cognition (thinking skills): Some patients also may have difficulty with attention, memory, processing, reaction time, and other thinking skills. Your therapist will plan structured activities to retrain former skills, improve deficits and/or teach compensatory techniques.

Education and safety: Safety for patients and caregivers as they transition home is one of the occupational therapist’s primary objectives. This will be addressed by completion of family training sessions, possible suggestions to modify the home environment, or specific equipment recommendations. Occupational therapists may also provide educational resources to help you achieve individual goals.

Arm function: Occupational therapists also focus on strength and the quality of movement in your arm(s). If arm function has been affected by illness or injury, occupational therapists work with you on maximizing your arm movement and recovery using a variety of evidence-based treatments and technologies including electrical stimulation (if not contraindicated), robotic therapy, manual therapy, mirror therapy, and modified constraint induced therapy, to name a few.

Speech Language Pathology

  • Speech
  • Language
  • Cognition (thinking skills)
  • Swallowing
  • Education and safety

Speech: If there is weakness in coordination or difficulty planning movements of the muscles of the jaw, lips, tongue, palate, or vocal cords, the speech language pathologist may prescribe exercises to help strengthen and coordinate those muscles. Your therapist may teach you strategies to improve smoothness and clarity of speech for communicating in daily interactions.

Language: Of the five language areas, one or more of the following may be affected in patients after a stroke or acquired brain injury

  1. Auditory comprehension/processing: the ability to understand what is said
  2. Verbal expression: the ability to use language to express thoughts and feelings
  3. Reading comprehension: the ability to understand written words
  4. Written expression: the ability to express thoughts in writing
  5. Pragmatics or social appropriateness: how one uses verbal and nonverbal communication to convey a message, i.e. eye contact, facial expressions, initiating conversation, staying on topic

Cognition (thinking skills): The areas affected in cognition can include attention/concentration, reasoning, memory, organization, problem solving and judgment. An impairment in one or more of these areas can affect a patient’s ability to communicate and perform effectively in his or her environment. Your therapist will plan structured activities to retrain former skills, improve deficits and/or teach compensatory techniques.

Swallowing: The speech language pathologist can address swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). State-of-the-art evaluation procedures are available for accurate diagnosis and to determine if aspiration (food/liquid entering the airway) is occurring. Your therapist may recommend a combination of exercises, compensatory postures, maneuvers and/or a modified diet texture to help you swallow safely.

Education and Safety: The speech language pathologist is available to further explain your specific communication difficulties and may provide you with additional reading material and suggestions for enhancing communication.

Neuropsychology/Psychology

Neuropsychology is a specialized service that focuses on cognitive and emotional functioning. A neuropsychologist is a clinical psychologist with advanced training in evaluating and helping people with thoughts, feelings, and behavior related to problems with brain function. Specifically, brain function is evaluated by objectively testing multiple thinking processes. An in-depth assessment of thinking skills is completed, and the results are used in diagnosis and treatment planning. A neuropsychologist may also provide behavioral health services aimed at enhancing coping abilities and emotional well-being.