Injuries to the brain can affect cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being, as well as quality of life. Often tasks that were easy or doable before, begin to feel unmanageable. Survivors of stroke or brain injury may experience changes in attention, memory, reasoning and organization - to name a few! Cognitive rehabilitation can help you develop strategies to manage changes in thinking, communicating or processing information as well adapt your behaviors or modify your home to accommodate physical and cognitive barriers.
Dementia and Primary Progressive Aphasia
Whether an individual is in the early, middle or late stages of dementia, cognitive rehabilitation and skilled partner training can reduce the burden of care, improve quality of life and help maintain valuable skills.
Mild Cognitive Impairment
As the brain ages, a certain amount of decline in thinking skills is to be expected. Examples could be taking longer to complete tasks like paying your bills, difficulty ignoring distractions, or misplacing your keys. Mild Cognitive Impairment is different from normal aging in that the changes impact your ability to complete daily tasks. This could mean missing appointments or medications, getting lost in familiar places or situations, difficulty managing multiple tasks, significant difficulty finding words, or feeling embarrassed and withdrawing from social or community activities that you previously enjoyed.
Aphasia is a language disorder that happens due to brain damage, as after a stroke or brain tumor. It can affect all aspects of communication including verbal speech, understanding spoken language, as well as reading and/or writing skills. Therapy can involve retraining impaired skills, developing strategies for improving communication, managing communication breakdowns, and partner/loved one training to reduce the impact that the disorder has on your lives. Person-centered therapy means taking into account your unique strengths, goals and the places you want to improve your communication success.
Liz holds a certification in SPEAK OUT, a research-backed intervention for improving communication in people with Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's Disease is a complex neurodegenerative condition that can impact speech, cognition and swallowing. A hallmark of Parkinson's is decreased 'amplitude' or strength, which can lead to reduced volume, pitch or quality of speech, difficulty swallowing or managing saliva, decreased memory and word finding, as well as lesser known changes such as reduced motivation. All of these changes can impact participation in daily activities, and lead to communication breakdowns with family and friends that lead to further stress. Therapy can help you develop an individualized exercise program to improve and maintain your voice, work together with caregivers and communication partners to develop effective strategies, and home modification to increase your confidence to return to previously enjoyed activities.
Coughing or throat clearing can be signs of dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), and can occur as a result of stroke or brain injury, as well as neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson's Disease or dementia. Therapy may include physical exercise, food texture modification or behavioral strategies,
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these difficulties, call now to set up an evaluation.