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On-campus therapists help residents improve function, achieve independence

Thanks to a partnership with Aegis Therapies, Manor of the Plains residents who have suffered an injury or have otherwise had their day-to-day activities impeded by a physical ailment have easy access to the knowledge and experience of trained professionals who can help get them back on a path to recovery.

Occupational Therapist Alyssa Lewis and Physical Therapist Jie (pronounced “Jay”) Hao each bring unique perspectives to their work but they both work toward a common goal.

“The goal is to benefit the patients by not only helping them return to their prior level of function for a safe return home and/or improve overall functional performance to maximize safety and independence in the facility, but to also provide a relationship where they feel met and understood on their level,” said Alyssa.

To increase the individualized, patient-specific care she provides, Alyssa recently received her lymphedema certification. It enables her to use manual therapy to decrease a patient’s swelling following a surgery or injury.

“Although I have not had a specific lymphedema patient yet, the certification allows me to provide a needed service and broaden my horizon on future patient treatments,” said Alyssa.

Like Alyssa, Jie prides himself providing residents with personalized care that can offer the greatest results.

“I collaborate with rehabilitation team members and other health care professionals to design individualized therapy plans that address each resident’s unique needs,” said Jie. “Plans may focus on building strength and endurance, improving flexibility, enhancing coordination, improving balance and walking abilities, reducing pain, optimizing movement and fall prevention.”

The residents themselves play a key role on the rehabilitation team.

“I try to make the residents feel involved in their plan of care. I also enjoy involving family to make it a comprehensive relationship among all involved,” said Alyssa. “I do what I do because I enjoy helping people. I enjoy being able to be a part of the recovery process and see the progress made. I enjoy each relationship I make with residents and families alike.”

For Jie, who, away from the community, engages in international rehabilitation research, working one-on-one with residents allows him a great opportunity to put what he’s learned to practical use.

“The human body and movement are fascinating, and I enjoy using my knowledge and skills to help people across the lifespan to better recover from injuries or diseases,” said Jie. “I believe ‘motion is lotion,’ ‘exercise is medicine’ and ‘health is wealth,’ and physical therapy perfectly fits my niche,” said Jie.

Having worked in a variety of settings, Alyssa believes that Manor of the Plains offers the perfect environment for both the work she does and the residents she treats.

“It’s structured yet provides a great community-like environment for the residents who can no longer live outside the facility,” said Alyssa. “I enjoy seeing the friendships between residents and really love all the interactions of family members coming and going.”

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