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Seniors at Ravenwood moving 'One Step Closer'

Rehab program helps patients get back home

Rehab program helps patients get back home

February 01, 2008|By JANET HEIM

Mary Arena drew quite a crowd as she prepared to "bowl" at Ravenwood Lutheran Village. Arena, a resident who will be returning home after her therapy is complete, was demonstrating the use of the Nintendo Wii system at the open house for the village's new One Step Closer rehabilitation program.

The dedication service and open house was held Thursday, Jan. 24. It was the culmination of years of planning by Lori-Anne Lavelle, rehabilitation coordinator, and her staff.

The One Step Closer program - which incorporates physical, occupational and speech therapy - is designed to help seniors return home in less time, better equipped to handle the challenges of living at home.

It was developed to help participants "regain balance and strength following diseases and disorders, improving their quality of life," Lavelle said.

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The new therapy suite is a homelike setting with opportunities for rehabilitation participants to use different grips for opening cabinets, practice getting in and out of bed, chairs with and without arms and more.

Lavelle said the function-based environment helps participants solve problems such as how to get a hot cup of tea to the table while using their walker. She said that a more traditional gym, while strengthening muscles, did little to prepare participants for the daily movements required at home, which is why they chose a homelike setting.

The One Step Closer gym includes the Nintendo Wii system, which helps develop eye-hand coordination. It allows users to simulate actions in video bowling, tennis, boxing and more.

Another feature of One Step Closer will be up and running in March or April. Dakim mPower is a computerized brain fitness system that adjusts for each user's skill level. Games using old movie clips and music that appeals to seniors provide mental stimulation.

The system remembers each user and in subsequent sessions, will provide games to strengthen weaker brain areas.

"We're excited to show off the new things Lori and her staff have done here," said Pete McMillin, director of marketing and sales for The Village at Robinwood and Ravenwood Lutheran Village.

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