From Injury to Healing

By: Katie Bailey, Marketing Intern

As a former CNA staff in the Good Shepherd nursing home, I thought I knew everything about the services this campus provides. Turns out, I only knew a small portion of the vast services offered.

In an effort to familiarize myself, I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Brenda Breitbach, Director of Rehabilitation, for Aegis Therapies. Aegis provides contracted physical, occupational and speech therapy on both an inpatient and outpatient basis to anyone 18 years of age or older. They also provide therapy services delivered through our Good Shepherd Home Health Care agency (but that’s a story for another day)!

Whether a patient is young or old, one similarity has always stayed constant, family and the support system surrounding the rehab patient. During our interview, Brenda said that having an involved family and a support system, “greatly increases the rate of success.” She also mentioned how therapy, “works very closely with family” when a patient is in the ACE/Rehab unit or using outpatient therapy services.”

We also talked about the stigma surrounding a younger individual coming to the nursing home for therapy, whether as an inpatient or outpatient. Therapy services are designed to meet the needs of everyone ages 18 and older. If a patient needs therapy, all they would need is an order from their doctor to start services.

Therapy is an essential part of the healing process and getting as healthy as you can be. It helps to restore the body’s function and movement, as well as provide pain relief and promote healing. Therapy staff is there for you to be your mentor and cheerleader, to get you through the rehabilitation process. After formal rehabilitation is done, therapy needs to be continued with home exercises in order to keep the area that was injured healthy.

A few of the most common geriatric rehabilitation treatments follows an illness or injury such as a stroke, pneumonia, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), joint replacement or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Common rehabilitation for the younger population generally consists of chronic pain, joint replacement and early onset Parkinson’s.

Brenda stated, “The most rewarding part about working in rehab is seeing people go home and to have an impact and enable someone to remain as independent in their home as long as possible.” Therapy starts with the goal of going home or to the lowest level of care possible. The staff, patients and families work hand in hand to accomplish this goal. Sometimes that doesn’t work out and in those cases, we work together to find the living situation that best meets their needs.

After sitting down with Brenda, I have a much better understanding of the rehabilitation and therapy services that are available to both young and older adults.

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