Opportunities Unlimited utilizes a team approach to rehabilitation services. The person receiving services and their family members are integral parts of this team. The team may consist of a Residential Leader, a Nurse, a Speech-Language Pathologist, a Physical Therapist, an Occupational Therapist, a Neuropsychologist, a Dietician, a Cognitive Specialist, and a Vocational Specialist. Other team members involved are the Attending Physician, a Counselor and/or Psychiatrist.
Formal therapies are provided at the Opportunities Unlimited Center, a state of the art building which encourages community integration and involvement. Functional and practical approaches to therapy are provided at both the Center and the homes. The staff integrates therapies into the community as much as possible to provide real life experiences.
Following admission, a comprehensive assessment is completed by staff from all departments to identify strength and need areas. The results of this assessment are developed into a program plan to assist individuals in attaining their long term residential and purposeful activity goals. Progress toward these goals is monitored monthly and reviewed by the team at least quarterly.
As the time for discharge approaches, the team works closely in developing a plan that will meet the needs of the individual as well as provide the best means of success. Members of the team will provide follow-up to ensure post discharge plans are of benefit to the individual and family.
As part of their individualized plans, each residential client has full access to the nursing department as well as a wide variety of therapy options.
OU offers Speech Therapy for all clients who qualify for the services in our department. Co-treatments with Occupational and Physical Therapy to maximize our clients' rehabilitation needs. Speech Language Pathology is the study of communication disorders that affect a person's speech, language, cognition, voice, swallowing (dysphagia) and the rehabilitative or corrective treatment of physical and cognitive deficits/disorders resulting in difficulty with communication or swallowing. Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) treat clients' speech production, vocal production, swallowing difficulties and language needs through speech therapy in the rehabilitation setting at OU.
The Speech Language Pathologist at OU provides prevention, screening, consultation, assessment and diagnosis, intervention, management, counseling, and treatment for disorders including: speech/articulation, language, receptive and expressive language (i.e. reading and writing), and non-verbal communication (i.e. facial expressions, body language, and gestures). The SLP at OU establishes augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) techniques and strategies including developing, selecting, and prescribing of such systems and devices. Swallowing problems are also treated by the Speech Language Pathologist at OU.
Depending on the nature and severity of the disorder, common treatments may range from strengthening exercises, instructive or repetitive practice and drilling, to the use of audio-visual aids and introduction of compensatory strategies to facilitate functional communication in all environments. The SLP also work on educating and counseling individuals, families, co-workers, educators, and other persons in the community regarding acceptance, adaptation, and decision making about communication and swallowing disorders.
The Physical Therapist at Opportunities Unlimited provides services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. Physical Therapists restore, maintain, and promote overall fitness and health. Physical Therapists examine patients' medical histories and then test and measure the patients' strength, range of motion, balance and coordination, posture, muscle performance, and motor function. Physical Therapists also develop plans describing a treatment strategy and its anticipated outcome. Treatment often includes exercise, especially for patients who have been immobilized or who lack flexibility, strength, or endurance. Physical Therapists encourage patients to use their muscles to increase their flexibility and range of motion. The goal is to improve how an individual functions at work and at home.
Occupational Therapy is a health professional whose goal is to help people achieve independence, meaning and satisfaction in all aspects of their lives. Occupational Therapists apply their specific knowledge to enable people to engage in activities of daily living that have personal meaning and value, improve, maintain, or restore independence to any person who has an injury, illness, disability or psychological dysfunction; consult with the person and the caregivers and; through evaluation and treatment, encourage the client to participate in satisfying daily activities. Occupational therapists help clients to perform all types of activities, from using a computer to caring for daily needs such as dressing, cooking, and eating. Physical exercises may also be used to increase strength and dexterity. The goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.
The Exercise Therapy room at Opportunities Unlimited provides our clients with many different exercises and equipment. These help our clients build and maintain strength, range of motion, and help decrease or maintain weight. There are many techniques used with the clients in the Exercise Therapy room. Often times the goals in exercise go hand in hand with goals that are being worked on in Physical and Occupational Therapy. The important thing to remember is that every individual in the rehabilitation program learns and progresses at his or her own pace.
Vocational Therapy is provided to those individuals who have a desire to be successful in a working environment. The working environment can take the form of workshop employment and training, pursuing higher education to provide knowledge needed to pursue a career, volunteer community placement, and competitive employment.
After initial assessments are completed, targeted areas are the main focus of each client's therapy. Once these targeted areas are known, an individual program plan is written and implemented to help the client obtain the skills he/she needs to be successful in their long term goals.
Many area businesses help make these goals possible for our clients by providing contracts in which our clients are able to complete and earn income from. They also provide many community employment opportunities for the clients served at Opportunities Unlimited. If you are a business that may be able to provide contract work or have job opportunities that may be feasible for the clients served at Opportunities Unlimited, please feel free to contact the Director of Vocational Services at (712) 277-8295.