When Kim Rockhold refers to the new equipment at Cherry Village Benevolence as a “therapist’s dream,” she is not thinking of herself or her rehabilitation team.
She is thinking about the new opportunities for residents to “greatly enhance their quality of life.”
Rockhold is the rehab director at Cherry Village, a short- and long-term-care residence; she also is a certified occupational therapy assistant.
“We are capable of doing so much more now for residents who need physical, occupational and/or speech therapies,” Rockhold said. “These new high-tech systems can help us work wonders.
“It is obvious our patients are enjoying their therapy sessions more now,” she added. “They are being challenged but having fun at the same time.”
Rockhold outlined the basics of each new therapy system.
The OmniStand is especially helpful for those who have not been able to stand at all or for only limited amounts of time.
“The patient is safe and cannot fall,” Rockhold said. “It is great for balance and gait training. Goals are better strength, balance and endurance.”
The OmniVR takes therapy patients into a virtual-reality world where they play games, while reaping physical and cognitive benefits.
“It is great to see our residents having fun with this,” Rockhold said. “They are playing games, according to individual abilities. They are not thinking about the therapy and are spending about twice as much time exercising.
“It is like when treadmill users have a TV nearby. Time goes faster and your mind is otherwise occupied.”
Pain management is the focus of the OmniVersa, which uses traditional ultrasound and electrotherapy in new ways.
“This treatment helps manage pain, relieve muscle spasms, increase range of motion and re-educate muscles,” Rockhold said. “It also increases blood flow and decreases joint stiffness and inflammation.”
The OmniCycle offers exercise for upper and lower extremities, while accounting for varying limitations.
“It automatically senses what the patient is doing and makes adjustments accordingly,” Rockhold commented. “Residents in wheelchairs can use this cycle, which is safer than transferring someone from the wheelchair to participate in therapy.”
Cherry Village purchased the therapy systems from ACP in late April. Its representative spent two full days training the therapists, who are Cherry Village employees that offer all services on-site.
The company will provide additional training this month and be at Cherry Village at least quarterly. “It is great to know they will be here with updates and new ideas,” Rockhold said. “I am eager to watch our residents make even more progress.”
A local family has operated Cherry Village, a non-profit entity, since it opened in 1978.