Press Release April 14, 2009
Chatham Senior Centers Offering Physical Therapy & Fall Prevention Services
PITTSBORO— The Chatham County Council on Aging and Mobile Rehab, LLC have collaborated to offer general physical therapy services as well as exercises and therapy services related to preventing falls. The new services are available by appointment at the Siler City and Pittsboro Senior Centers, Monday through Friday.
A local resident, Josephine Cicero reports that “the convenience of having physical therapy at the senior center is just right for me. The therapy has helped a lot to reduce my pain and improved my function.”
The Council on Aging’s Balance program was started in January of 2008 with a Title III Health Promotion and Disease Prevention grant. Interns from the UNC School of Nursing, under the guidance of faculty member Beth Lamanna and the Council’s Bridges to Wellness Manager Lindsay Hickling, reviewed the best practices for balance screening and developing a program for individual exercises that could be delivered in a senior center setting. Joshua Cohen, PT MS, assisted in developing a program that would be sustainable after grant funds were depleted. Initial efforts have grown into a service that is self-sustaining and promotes healthy independent living.
The physical therapy collaboration supports two important priorities for the senior centers, according to Angel Dennison, executive director of the Council on Aging.
“First, it provides an effective, accessible, evidence-based falls prevention program. Injuries resulting from falls continue to be the number one cause of accidental death among older adults. Mobile Rehab provides professional expertise to the Council’s Balance screening and exercise program, offered through our Bridges to Wellness Program.”
A second benefit is that the new services will improve accessibility and convenience for health care, rehabilitative and preventive services. “By offering physical therapy services in the senior centers, older adults throughout the county who come to our senior centers for lunch, exercise classes and wellness programs can also make appointments for Mobile Rehab’s services.”
Dennison said that the Council on Aging provides transportation to both senior centers for as many as 85 people a day.
Joshua Cohen, physical therapist for Mobile Rehab said, “Our goal is to provide affordable, accessible, and superior physical therapy services to older adults in Chatham County to support their efforts to live independently. All diagnoses are welcome.”
Services include the full range of physical therapy, including computer-based interactive programs to improve strength and balance and to reduce the risk of falls.
The next step in program development, according to Dennison, is to incorporate balance group exercise into the weekly schedule of wellness activities. The Bridges to Wellness program and Mobile Rehab are working with Dr. Carol Giuliani of UNC-CH, Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Allied Health Services, to adapt an evidence-based program to the senior centers’ lunchtime setting.
Mobile Rehab, LLC offers flexible co-payment rates for patients with financial burdens. All billing is filed for the patients through Medicare as well as any secondary insurance coverage.
Citizens from Chatham County interesting in receiving physical therapy services should contact Mobile Rehab, LLC at 919-636-2423. Residents can fax physician prescription and contact information directly to Mobile Rehab at 919-883-5365. More information can be found at www.mobilerehabnc.com.