National Physical Therapy Month at Charles E. Smith Life Communities

Physical Therapy

National Physical Therapy Month, which has been held every October since 1992, provides an excellent opportunity to remind the public of the dedication, professionalism, and caring exhibited by certified physical therapists, including the 26 PT and PTAs who are part of the staff at Charles E. Smith Life Communities of Greater Washington, however it’s also an ideal time to discuss the benefits of physical therapy with families that may not be aware of how modern treatments can lead to dramatic quality of life improvements for individuals with mobility, strength, endurance, balance, and other challenges.

Among the physical therapy practitioners at Charles E. Smith Life Communities, for instance, are PTs and PTAs who are certified in Neuro-Developmental Technique (NDT), which is an approach to neurological rehabilitation that is often applied to promote motor learning for efficient motor control following a stroke. Utilizing posture control techniques, NDT progresses from simple to more complex tasks, with the ultimate goal being the recovery of significant motor control.

Another approach used by the staff on campus of Charles E. Smith Life Communities, is Lee Silverman Voice Treatment – LOUD (LSVT BIG/LOUD). A treatment for speech disorders that are associated with Parkinson’s disease, LSVT BIG/LOUD is designed to increase a client’s vocal loudness over the course of several sessions, which are spread out over four weeks. Based on the concept of “thinking loud in order to speak loud”, LSVT BIG/LOUD uses exaggerated motions and behaviors, video feedback, and decibel measurements to expand the client’s speaking capabilities, which in turn improves the quality of their conversations with friends and relatives.

PT and PTAs who are certified in Exercise and Strengthening in Geriatrics (APTA) or have an Aquatics Certification are also among the staff on campus. Through the extensive use of on-campus facilities that include an impressively-equipped gym at Wasserman Residence, these specialists are able to help clients improve mobility, regain strength, balance, and range of motion, all while helping to keep baseline health in optimum condition. As they’re equipped with all the appliances and amenities that clients are likely to use at home, even the apartments in Wasserman Residence are designed to help regain the motor skills clients require to return to independent living.

Returning to their personal residence, after all, is the primary goal of most clients who come to the Post-Acute Care Center at Charles E. Smith Life Communities, which is why its 99% home-back-to-home recovery rate for short-stay patients is impressive by any standard. Even up to 67% of Medicare A clients who stay at Wasserman Residence are discharged back to their own homes, which further emphasizes the main focus of the PT and PTAs at the Post-Acute Care Center is always to return individuals to independent living.

This high recovery rate is also reflected in the overall 94% Satisfaction Rating the Post-Acute Care Center has in the Maryland Health Care Commission survey. Given that the average Satisfaction Rating on this survey is only 79%, Charles E. Smith Life Communities is clearly able to translate its values of compassion and respect into a program that has tangible benefits. With a 10.79% readmission rate to hospitals within 30 days of admission in an era where the national average is 16%, the physical therapy carried out on campus is also noted for its lasting positive effects.

When considering post-acute care rehabilitation for a family member, or even reflecting on the values of compassion and dignity that are honored during National Physical Therapy Month, households in the Greater Washington area are therefore invited to learn more about the services provided at Charles E. Smith Life Communities by contacting 301-881-0300 with general inquiries or to discuss both long-term care and short-term rehabilitation admissions, calling Elaine Gebell at 301-770-8496.

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