Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists have a primary focus on functional activities that individuals complete during their daily lives. Activities of daily living (ADLs) include bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, bladder and bowel management, and functional transfers. Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) include care of others, care of pets, community mobility, child rearing, shopping, use of communication devices, financial management, health management and maintenance, meal preparation and cleanup, safety procedures and emergency responses. Occupational therapists assist individuals with the use of adaptive equipment, compensatory techniques and alternative methods to complete these activities more independently.

Winneshiek Medical Center offers direct access to their rehabilitation services without a doctor’s referral. Call 563-387-3031 to make an appointment.

Incontinence Retraining

Winneshiek Medical Center offers incontinence therapy to patients in the region. Many types of incontinence problems can be helped with appropriate therapy including stress incontinence, urge incontinence, urinary frequency, mixed incontinence, and nighttime incontinence. We can also help with pelvic floor dysfunction including painful urination, pelvic floor pain that has lasted greater than six months and mild pelvic organ prolapse. Treatments include pelvic floor muscle training, patient education, pelvic floor musculo-skeletal assessment, behavioral modifications, bladder diary, electrical stimulation, and home exercise program. Therapy frequency and duration may vary, but most patients see improvement with one treatment per week for 4-6 weeks.

Call WMC Rehab and Sports Medicine to learn more about incontinence therapy: 563-387-3031

Hand Therapy

Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah is the only facility in the area to offer hand therapy led by Certified Hand Therapists.  Hand therapists specialize in the treatment of upper extremity conditions involving the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand.

Conditions treated by hand therapists may include:

  • Traumatic injuries
  • Fractures
  • Wounds, scars, and burns
  • Tendon, ligament or nerve injuries
  • Overuse injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and tendonitis
  • Chronic Conditions such as arthritis or contracture management
  • Neurologic conditions such as stroke, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries.

Specialty treatments may include:

  • Custom splinting
  • Manual therapy
  • ASTYM
  • Desensitization
  • Functional work analysis
  • Manual edema mobilization
  • Kinesiotaping
  • Ergonomic assessments
  • Postural assessment/education

In addition to treating the condition, certified hand therapists also assess and educate patients on how to modify/improve how they do their daily tasks (playing sports, computer work, gardening) to ensure best results of their condition.

Call Winneshiek Medical Center Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine at 563-387-3031 to learn more about hand therapy available in Decorah.

What is ASTYM?

Hand Therapy Certification Commission

Lymphedema Treatment

Lymphedema is a chronic swelling of an extremity due to permanent obstruction of lymphatic pathways due to surgery, lymph node removal, radiation and impaired mobility.  This  inadequate fluid drainage can cause:

  • Inflammation
  • Fibrosis (hardening of the tissue/skin)
  • Weeping/ wounds
  • Infection or cellulitis to the affected limb.

This can lead to:

  • Pain
  •  Decreased range of motion
  • Impaired sensation
  • Impaired mobility/balance
  • Decreased independence with self-cares.

Lymphedema treatments include:

  • Manual lymph drainage (a specific light massage completed by the therapist).
  • Medical, low-stretch compression bandaging.
  • Specific exercises to increase lymph flow.
  • Patient education on long term lymphedema management
  • Fitting of a compression garment to the affected extremity.
  • Assessment for lymphedema pumps and specialized compression garments

 

Contact our Rehab Department to be treated by one of our certified lymphedema therapists: 563-387-3031

Dementia Care

A dementia diagnosis may cause patients and families alike to question the future. Although there is no cure for dementia, Winneshiek Medical Center’s Dementia Care Program can help patients maintain a good quality of life, by providing specific strategies to implement as their loved ones reach new stages of dementia.

The program is available to patients living in their own home, with their families, or in a long term care facility.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a term for diseases and conditions characterized by a decline in memory or other thinking skills that affects a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia is not a normal part of aging; therefore, it is important to get a diagnosis to identify the actual cause of the problem so that you can receive proper care.

Signs of early stage dementia can include

  • Asking repetitive questions
  • Regularly misplacing items
  • Not taking medications as prescribed
  • Inconsistencies in conversations
  • Personality changes
  • Lack of enjoyment with previous leisure interests
  • Missing appointments
  • Inadequate hygiene habits
  • Difficulty with money management
  • Change in eating habits and having spoiled or excess groceries
  • Caregiver compensating for patient or increased tension between caregiver and patient

 Signs of late stage dementia can include

  • Difficulty getting individual to eat, sleep, toilet, bathe, and change clothes
  • Increase falls or balance difficulties
  • Disengaging from the environment
  • Difficulty expressing their needs and understanding directions
  • Behaviors become more resistive, at times aggressive

How does WMC’s Dementia Care Program work?

Occupational therapists work closely with the patient and their caregiver to help “see the person” to customize their care. Therapists strive to learn about the patient’s life; including family, former occupations and interests. Below are a few examples of what occupational therapists can suggest to improve quality of life.

  • Like music? A patient may believe he or she is a teenager in the 1920’s. Find a collection of music from those years and share with the patient.
  • Enjoy morning coffee? Meal time may cause undesirable behaviors, but the patient may enjoy a coffee break. Call meal time “coffee break” to encourage the patient to willingly join the table.
  • Like to clean? Find meaningful tasks for the patient to perform to keep their environment tidy and organized.
  • Enjoy farming? Many patients spent their entire lives on a farm. Listening to or reading the daily farm report may settle their agitation.

Is the WMC Dementia Program Covered by Insurance?

WMC’s Dementia Care Program is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances. It is important to check with your insurance carrier before beginning services.

For more information on WMC’s Dementia Care Program, talk to your primary care provider, or call the Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine department at 563-387-3031.

Pediatrics

Winneshiek Medical Center’s pediatric occupational therapists serve infants, children, and young adults who may have the following conditions:

  • Upper extremity coordination issues
  • Delay in achieving age-appropriate developmental milestones and fine motor skills and coordination
  • Orthopedic upper extremity conditions or injuries
  • Neurological, congenital, or genetic diagnoses including but not limited to cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and Down Syndrome
  • Behavioral problems, meltdowns, or regulation issues at home or school
  • Upper Extremity Pain
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Difficulties with learning
  • Birth injuries or birth defects
  • Sensory processing disorders
  • Autism

Sensory Integration Therapy

Some children feel physically uncomfortable in their world. These feeling can be due to Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). SPD is a condition that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school challenges, and other impacts may result if the disorder is not treated effectively.

Effective occupational therapy enables children with Sensory Processing Disorder to take part in the normal activities of childhood, such as playing with friends, enjoying school, eating, dressing, and sleeping.

Common Signs of Sensory Processing Problems

  • Reactions to touch, sounds, sights, movement, tastes, or smells, including:
  • Bothered by clothing fabrics, labels, tags, etc.
  • Distressed by light touch or unexpected touch
  • Dislikes getting messy
  • Resists grooming activities
  • Very sensitive to sounds (volume or frequency)
  • Squints, blinks, or rubs eyes frequently
  • Bothered by lights or patterns
  • High activity level or very sedentary
  • Unusually high or low pain threshold

Emotional Regulation

Our OTs are trained in use of the Zones of Regulation and How Does Your Engine Run curriculums which is designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control with individuals of all ages. These curriculums utilize:

  • Sensory integration and regulation
  • Emotional self-understanding and emotional self-regulation
  • Executive functioning
  • Social thinking
  • Development of self-awareness

Feeding

Our OTs are trained in use of Sequential Oral Sensory approach to feeding to increase food variety intake. During feeding therapy our therapists identify physical, behavioral, oral-motor and sensory factors that may be challenges for the individual.

Fine Motor Skills

Our OTs are trained to evaluate children’s fine motor skills and can provide interventions to target delays and deficits in this area. The following common fine motor target areas:

  • Dressing
  • Handwriting and other academic skills
  • Muscle Tone
  • Feeding
  • Other self-care tasks

Self-Care Skills

Our occupational therapist can teach children how to become more independent in daily living activities including dressing, toileting, bathing, self-feeding, grooming, etc.

Social Skills

Our therapists are trained utilizing the Social Thinking curriculum to assist in improving social skills. Social skills are necessary to communicate and interact well with others in everyday life.

Individuals will develop many skills including:

  • Positive relationships and friendships with peers
  • Verbal and nonverbal communication skills
  • Cooperation and turn taking
  • Being kind, patient, and respectful of others
  • Empathy and perspective taking
  • Understanding social contexts and customs
  • Awareness of personal space
  • Self-regulation and coping skills
  • Emotional regulation and recognizing emotions in self and others
  • Confidence and self-esteem
  • Self-advocacy and assertiveness
  • Conflict resolution and problem solving

 

Your Appointment

Patients can be seen by Winneshiek Medical Center Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine occupational therapists by making a direct appointment or through a doctor’s referral. Call 563-387-3031 to schedule.

Therapy offered answers so I could put them into solutions for my child. His progress has made us proud.
Amanda
Occupational Therapy Stories
Occupational Therapy at Winneshiek Medical Center celebrates 25 years
April 29, 2021
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