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Centers for Geriatric Neurology Extend Independence for Seniors
September 27, 2012
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod’s (SCC) Centers for Geriatric Neurology (CGN), established last summer, are improving quality of life and extending independence for seniors with neurological problems from the Cape and South Shore.
Designed and directed by David Lowell, M.D., neurologist and SCC’s Chief Medical Officer, CGN specializes in helping seniors facing challenges due to stroke, Parkinson’s disease, balance disorders, brain tumors, dementia, Alzheimer’s and other memory/cognitive disorders. Dawn Lucier, PT, a physical therapist who specializes in neuro-rehabilitation, works collaboratively with Dr. Lowell. The team sees patients at Spaulding’s Sandwich, Orleans and Plymouth outpatient centers.
“Our rehab model combines the medical and functional aspects of diagnosis and treatment. Our philosophy is that we can positively influence many factors that result in age-related illness and disability,” says Dr. Lowell.
The patient’s initial visit includes a detailed neurological evaluation, medication review and recommendations, cognitive and memory assessment, balance and gait assessment, and review of relevant information from the patient, family, referring physician and community resources.
Patients and referring physicians appreciate the comprehensiveness of the evaluation and that the therapy screening is done as part of the initial visit. One result: very quickly they are able to develop a treatment plan.
“We can catch people before or on the brink of a serious decline and intervene using targeted, evidence-based techniques,” says Dr. Lowell. “For example, we’ve been able to extend the time a person with Parkinson’s can live at home for about a year and a half. That is precious time for the patient and family.” It’s also a far less costly option than living in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility.
Patients at CGN have access to Spaulding’s full range of services, from inpatient admission to outpatient therapy, from wellness groups to consultation with a rehabilitation physician. In addition to physical, occupational, and speech therapies, patients can benefit from such specialized services as Lee Silverman Voice Treatment; cognitive rehabilitation; swallowing evaluation, audiology evaluation and hearing aides, vision rehabilitation; orthotic, prosthetic and wheelchair clinics; wellness and exercise programs; and Spaulding’s Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program. Patients who need more intensive rehabilitation can be admitted to SCC’s Direct Admission Program. If the patient is unable to get to a doctor’s office, a home evaluation can usually be arranged.
For information about the Spaulding Centers for Geriatric Neurology or for referrals, call 508-833-4141.