Bridgeville facility amps up physical therapy with virtual games
Sometimes physical therapy can be fun.
Residents at Country Meadows of South Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center often seem to forget that they are rehabbing when they use the OmniVR virtual rehabilitation system.
Made by Accelerated Care Plus, it features 20 games that can be adjusted to the needs of a specific resident, such as endurance, range of motion or cognitive skills.
“I think it has a lot to do with their mental states, as well, said Anita Kozel, program manager at the Bridgeville facility. “They are coming here because they have an orthopedic or acute need, and they want to be out of here as soon as possible. So anything that gives them the ability to not sit in the gym and do rote things over and over again is a plus. It enhances their plan of care here.”
Pat Wilson, 75 of North Strabane, is learning nonweight-bearing activities after breaking her ankle in April. She played the ant game in which she sat and kicked the ants, while letting the butterflies live.
Not only does the system pick up her motions to make sure she gets a full range of motion, it allows Wilson to use her cognitive skills to distinguish the different insects.
“When I came in here I couldn't hop,” Wilson said. “Now, I hop all the time over to the therapy room and back again. I have to become independent. The kicking of the ants was a little strange for me. I didn't know you needed to get your legs all the way back to the green. It really gets your legs going.”
Similar to a Wii game system, the virtual system does not use a remote controller and reacts in real time. Physical therapists can gauge progress with the amount of accuracy calculated at the end of the activity.
There even is healthy competition when family members come to visit. The OmniVR system can be set for multiple participants to play against each other.
“A lot of what we have seen and what we try to strive for is residents vs. family members that are visiting so that they have that ability to play competitive games with their grandchildren or their daughter,” Kozel said. “It doesn't seem as much as they are getting a workout as their just doing a fun activity.”
The camaraderie in the therapy room is obvious between the residents and physical therapists when people are playing the interactive games, whether it is “standing bingo” or trying to grab the grapes for the fox.
“The OmniVR is just a great addition, but if you don't have someone engaging you in a fun manor, even this doesn't have quite the impact that it does when you have the people that work with them that are really excited for them and encouraging them to do normal activities,” said Melissa Marchitello, marketing relations.
“We want to provide the type of environment that encourages people to get well.”
Brittany Goncar is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- South Fayette coach looks to bring Insanity to residents
- Seat tags in Carnegie’s music hall tell many stories
- Bridgeville historical society set to undergo repairs
- Community shows support for Cecil family
- Carnegie reflects on 10th anniversary of notorious rainy day
- Local business community continues to grow and change