Our Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports Program offers a variety of athletic programs for patients and community members. Anyone with impaired mobility — including patients who’ve sought rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury — can reap the same benefits of athletic activity and competition enjoyed by able-bodied people. In addition to competitive and recreational teams for wheelchair tennis, basketball, rugby, softball and other sports, we offer clinics throughout the year so you can check out activities such as archery, canoeing/kayaking, downhill skiing, golf, rock climbing, sailing, scuba diving and water skiing.
If you have limited ability to communicate or interact, you may benefit from electronic aids to daily living and/or an augmentative communication device, which is a system (other than writing) that allows an individual to make thoughts and needs known. Assistive technology ranges from low-tech picture boards to high-tech, computer-based systems.
Additionally, our rehab technology therapists can help you with computer access by adapting or customizing your existing computer equipment. If you have limited hand function or fine motor skills, therapists can help identify devices that may allow enhanced independence at home, school or work. These include emergency call devices, door opening systems, switch-operated phones, remote-control lights or fans and remote-control audio systems. They may operate by infrared signals, radio frequency, WiFi or voice control.
With biofeedback, patients with neuromuscular damage can re-educate muscles that are working improperly or not at all. During biofeedback, an electrical signal passes from an electrode placed over the affected muscle to an attached computer monitor. Using visual and audio cues, biofeedback helps the brain reconnect with parts of the body it wasn’t communicating with before.
Our Driver Rehabilitation Program is designed to restore independence by putting you back in the driver’s seat. Driver rehab professionals:
• Assist with transportation evaluations and recommendations for car, truck or van modifications
• Assess your driving skills
• Provide on-the-road driver education and training
• Identify specific recommendations for adaptations such as hand controls, seat modifications, lifts or ramps.
Your living space may need modifications for safe access. Our occupational and physical therapists provide specific input according to your needs by conducting either an on-site evaluation or by reviewing floor plans.
Motion Analysis Laboratory
Mary Free Bed’s Motion Analysis Laboratory provides a comprehensive description of how your body moves when you walk. The data is compared to age-appropriate typical walking patterns and then interpreted to determine a treatment plan that will improve your mobility. Services include a detailed physical assessment, split-screen videotaping, 3-D joint motion and forces, plantar pressure analysis, energy expenditure estimates and more.
Our neuropsychological services include specialized testing to assess emotional status, intelligence, education or vocational potential. Our neuropsychologists also provide counseling and support for you and your family.
Orthotic Seating, Equipment and Assistive Technology (OrthoSEAT) provides high-quality, therapeutically correct wheelchair seating and other custom assistive devices. These customizations are intended to increase your functionality and improve your comfort. For example, computerized pressure mapping may be used to assist in cushion selection or decisions related to pressure sore prevention and treatment. Your wheelchair seating solutions may incorporate commercially available components or custom designed modifications.
Mary Free Bed orthotists can evaluate your needs and then create braces, helmets or other orthoses to help you resume activities of daily living and other endeavors. We can create your orthosis in our on-site lab or adjust a stock product to fit you. We also offer life-long support as your body and your circumstances change. It’s all about finding the solution that will best meet your needs.
Our peer support mentoring program and support groups are a key component of Mary Free Bed’s Brain Injury Program, providing you access to people with injuries similar to your own. Peer support activities, coordinated by your Mary Free Bed recreational therapist and care manager, may include one-on-one or group meetings or outings to adaptive sports practices or wheelchair sports events.
Mary Free Bed’s board-certified prosthetists and prosthetic technicians can prepare your prosthesis through custom fabrication in our on-site lab. Function and comfort are our top goals for every patient. Prostheses have many different features and options – from standard to deluxe. Your needs, goals and finances play a big part in choosing a prosthetic limb.
You also will receive special instructions and training on the use of your prosthetic limb. Our therapists are available to assist if you need additional help.
Our rehabilitation physicians work with your treatment team (nurses and therapists) to monitor and treat spasticity related to your injury, especially if it interferes with activities of daily living or functional progress. Treatment may consist of therapeutic interventions or medications including intrathecal baclofen (the delivery of the medication baclofen into an area of the spine called the intrathecal space).
A speech language pathologist can evaluate and treat your swallowing problems. A videofluoroscopy swallow study (VFSS) or fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of the swallow study (FEES) may be conducted by a speech language pathologist to evaluate your swallowing problems and then reduce your risk of complications.
Water therapy in our therapy pool is ideal for many reasons – the warm temperature combined with the buoyancy provided by the water decreases gravitational forces on your body so you can move easier, it helps muscles relax so you can experience greater range of motion and it increases circulation. The pool is also a safe environment to work on increasing muscle strength and flexibility and performing tasks, such as standing or ambulation that may not yet be possible to do on land. Our recreation therapists are also able to provide swim evaluations and teach water safety and adapted swimming techniques.
To regain function, mobility and independence, advanced technological devices and therapies can help those who’ve experienced a brain injury. These devices include the Lokomat® treadmill equipped with robotic “legs”; devices that use electrical stimulation to activate nerves in the hands, wrists, forearms and feet; interactive light boards and other devices.
Vocational rehabilitation services are designed to help you successfully return to employment after a brain injury. We collaborate with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), which helps individuals with disabilities achieve employment and self-sufficiency. An MRS rehabilitation counselor is available on-site to provide information and determine your eligibility. Examples of services provided include skills training, job placement, job coaching, assistive technology and transportation.