Last updated 1 month ago
When a loved one experiences a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, his or her life—and yours—may be forever altered. Watch this video featuring patient advocate Carolyn Rocchio to learn about her son Tim’s challenges and triumphs following an automobile accident.
After emerging from a three-month coma spent on life support, Tim gradually began to regain his physical and cognitive capabilities, relearning how to walk and perform activities of daily living. Intensive rehabilitative therapy helped him become more independent, easing the strain of his injury on family caregivers.
Caring for a family member who has suffered a devastating injury can be very challenging. For more information about how Independence Plus’ private duty nurses, licensed respiratory care practitioners, and home rehabilitative therapists can provide quality care and services for your loved one in the comfortable and familiar setting of your home, call (630) 463-4400.
Last updated 1 month ago
Did you know Independence Plus has a Facebook page? We invite you to visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/independenceplusinc to see photos of our patients, read success stories, and learn about the care and services we provide. LIKE our page before June 30, 2013, and send us a direct message with your name and preferred contact information to be entered for a chance to win an iPod mini!
We’ll announce our winner via Facebook on July 9th!
Last updated 2 months ago
Families faced with a challenging illness or condition often feel overwhelmed by the patient’s needs, and usually wish to retain as much normalcy as possible. For this reason, a professional home care clinician can play an important role within the household. You can find out more about chronic medical conditions and the corresponding home care services by visiting the following links or calling Independence Plus at (630) 463-4400.
Learn how a tracheostomy can affect a patient’s ability to speak on this page from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
For information on dysphagia, including why it occurs and how a speech-language pathologist can help treat it, visit the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Find out what a speech-language therapy assessment entails in this detailed article from The Medscape Journal of Medicine.
At ChristopherReeve.org, you can learn all about the different types of spinal cord injuries and how their location impacts mobility and sensation.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes the difference between complete and incomplete spinal cord injury and the respective effects on a patient’s prognosis.
Last updated 2 months ago
Speech-language therapy can be an important tool for any person who has difficulty speaking, swallowing, thinking, or adjusting to new respiratory equipment. Therapy sessions that occur at home are increasingly appealing for patients, as they offer unmatched convenience and privacy. Here are some of the services offered by Independence Plus’ speech-language pathologists during home health visits
For patients who have suffered a stroke or degenerative disease, children with developmental delays, and victims of head trauma, it may be wise to schedule an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist in order to determine whether any cognition or communication deficits exist. The therapist will test for difficulties in speaking or understanding speech and language, and will determine whether these stem from a motor disorder or neurological problem.
Patients who have difficulty swallowing are at risk for choking on or inhaling food and drink. This condition, known as dysphagia, can be assessed by a hospital speech-language pathologist, using an endoscope or a video X-ray, to determine how the patient swallows various items. This information can then be used by the home care speech-language pathologist to develop a treatment plan that may involve swallowing in certain head positions, consuming only specific types of food, or performing muscle-strengthening exercises.
If a patient has a permanent or semi-permanent tracheostomy, he or she may need to learn new ways of speaking. Certain types of tracheostomy tube valves are available to facilitate speech—a speech-language pathologist may be able to help the patient use such a valve to produce an adequate voice for speaking.
Adaptive Equipment Training
Patients who struggle with inadequate motor control can use voice-activated equipment to regain some of their independence. Similarly, patients who are unable to communicate through speech, writing, or sign language may be able to use alphabet boards or a speech-synthesizing computer to express themselves to others. A speech-language pathologist can help determine which solution best fits the patient’s needs and will provide assistance during the transition to its use.
You can learn more about Independence Plus’ home health visit services, including speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and more, by calling (630) 463-4400. Whether you are in need of home health visits, private duty nursing services or home respiratory equipment setup, our licensed clinicians can help you and your loved ones.
Last updated 2 months ago
An injury that affects the spine is very serious, regardless of its location. This is because the spine contains a bundle of nerve fibers, known collectively as the spinal cord, which enables movement and sensation throughout the body. Many spinal cord injuries are incomplete, which means that the patient retains the ability to move or feel below the level of the trauma. By contrast, a complete injury results in a total loss of function within the affected area. Given that many causes of spinal cord injury are from physical trauma, there also may be cognitive problems, such as concentration and/or memory. Spinal cord injuries are further classified by their location along the spine. Please read below for more information about these locations and learn how Independence Plus can help:
The cervical vertebrae are the highest in the spine, located within the neck. Injuries to the spinal cord within this region may affect the arms, legs, diaphragm, and abdominal organs, leading to numbness, mobility issues, breathing, speaking and swallowing difficulties, problems with daily living activities, and incontinence.
Depending on the level of injury along the thoracic spine, which comprises the vertebrae that run behind the rib cage, a patient may experience difficulty walking as well as incontinence and sexual issues. The affected parts of the body may also lose sensation, depending on the type of nerve damage sustained.
Within the curve of the lower back lies the lumbar region of the spine. Injury in this area has effects similar to that of the thoracic region, although fewer organ systems may be affected.
Nerve damage to the base of the spine may affect the patient’s ability to control his or her bowels or bladder, and it can result in genital numbness and difficulty moving the legs.
The rehabilitation process following a spinal cord injury is lengthy and challenging, both for the patient and his or her family caregivers. Independence Plus can provide the necessary home care so the healing process can occur within a comfortable and familiar setting. In addition to private duty nurses, we supply physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech and language pathologists so that patients can fine-tune their motor skills right at home. Call (630) 463-4400 today for more information.