2015 Winners

HTS hosted our 4th Annual Rehab Week Contest and it was a huge success!
National Rehab Awareness Week was established by the National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation (NRAF) to educate people about the benefits of rehabilitation. This year, “Rehab Week” was September 20-26th. Every year, we challenge our HTS therapy teams to participate in a contest to engage and educate their patients and community on the benefits and life changing offerings of physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Our people go all out! Utilizing themes, organizing fundraisers and engaging entire towns, we had 13 teams participate this year. Teams submitted pictures, video and shared stories to show how they celebrated rehab week! As always, we are amazed by the creativity and time that went into making this week so special for residents, staff and the community. Thank you to everyone that participated in National Rehabilitation Week.

The National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation’s (NRAF) mission is to educate people about the benefits and impact of rehabilitation; develop programs which aim to increase opportunities for nearly 50 million Americans with disabilities, and help those who are disabled live up to their fullest potential. For more information, go to www.rehabweek.com.

Read more about the winners and there fun contributions to National Rehab Week in long term care.

1st Place Winners!
Hazard Health & Rehabilitation Center | Hazard, KY

This year, the therapists at Hazard Health & Rehab organized a full week of fun and education that involved the entire community. They planned a “pirate-themed” adventure with a focus on teaching the long term care staff, residents and community how to “Treasure Your Health”. Utilizing social media, they posted daily rehab topics to educate the public on the benefits of physical, occupational and speech therapy. They organized a county-wide treasure hunt to keep the community involved, giving daily clues to a hidden prize. Every day, the Hazard Therapy Department held special events from games to educate on therapy terminology, to testing strength and eye-hand coordination.  Hazard Health & Rehab Center in addition to the entire community embraced the theme during this wonderful week of celebration!


2nd Place Winners!
Wolfe County Health & Rehabilitation Center | Campton, KY

The therapy team at Wolfe County kicked off Rehab Week by organizing a 5K Color Run for the entire community! People came from six different counties and out of state to participate in the color run.  The run involved the community and promoted fitness for all ages from 10 to 50+.  All proceeds from this event went to the Wolfe County Residents fund.

The residents and employees were involved as the therapy team had a daily the Rehab/Game Show.  Let’s Make a Deal, Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right are just a few of the games played by residents and staff. Employees played Jeopardy and all questions were directly related to educate through fun! Topics included: Safety, Proper Body Mechanics, Anatomy, Policies & Procedures and Adaptive Equipment.

Wolfe Health & Rehabilitation organized many other events such as an outing to Natural Bridge State Park. Congrats to Wolfe Health & Rehabilitation!


3rd Place Winners!
Hillcrest Health & Rehab Center | Corbin, KY

Que this awesome intro…“Boy oh Boy, the residents and staff were exhausted from their coast to coast travels across the United States during Rehab Week. Before departing on their trip, the residents participated in a Bon Voyage Balloon launch.  After traveling 12, 486 miles across the United States, the residents still suffered from jet lag.” How awesome is this? The Hillcrest therapy department and staff organized and designed events in the building to replicate parts of the country for residents. The states visited include: Kentucky, Hawaii, Texas, California and Alaska.

Residents saddled up stick horses and placed bets at “Hillcrest Downs,” and created beautiful artwork using sensory processing skills and range of motion while making thumbprint hearts on Kentucky canvases. After landing in Hawaii, residents were welcomed with leis, fruit salad and virgin daiquiris while playing a competitive game of pineapple bowling. As a souvenir, residents captured the beauty of the ocean by making their own sensory ocean bottle. In Texas, residents were decked out in cowboy attire, deputized with sheriff badges and laced up their boots while using their functional endurance and increased resistance and center of gravity to climb the incline to a hayride. Therapists assisted on trunk stabilization and transfers on and off the hayride. Later that day, they participated in Tumbleweed Bingo using fine motor skills and visual scanning and recognition.

In California, they had a red carpet photo shoot and the “Hillcrest Stars” took a stroll down the Walk of Fame while working on sensory processing skills and proprioceptive input through their  hands.  Elvis entered the building and definitely got the crowd going. Lastly in Alaska, they began their adventure by making marshmallow igloos and snow using a sensory activity. Hillcrest’s Rehab Week was fun, super creative and one to remember!

Honorable Mention:

Corbin Health & Rehab Center
Bethel Manor
Williamsburg Health & Rehab Center


Thank You to All the Teams that Participated!

Glenburn Home, Hickory Creek at Winamac, Bethel Manor, Cumberland Valley Manor, Barbourville Health & Rehab, Corbin Health & Rehab, Harlan Health & Rehab, Hazard Health & Rehab, Hillcrest Health & Rehab, Hyden Health & Rehab, Knott Health & Rehab, Williamsburg Health & Rehab, Wolfe County Health & Rehab

Look for more contests and fun events from our amazing therapists that work for Healthcare Therapy Services, Inc. Our therapists give their best every day and are the foundation of our success by providing a “hope and a future” for each person they serve.

Balance is defined as the ability to maintain your center of gravity over your base of support (your feet). Poor balance can result in an unwanted movement, like a misstep, a wobble or tripping. Falling down is the ultimate loss of balance and the leading cause of debilitating injury and premature death in older adults. Each year 1 in 3 older adults will experience a fall; which is why it is vitally important to pay attention to your body to stay on top of your balance.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), older adults can remain independent and reduce their risk of falling by taking these precautions:

  • Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Get your eyes checked at least once a year and update eyeglasses to maximize your vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
  • Home Safety — reduce tripping hazards, add grab bars inside and outside the bath tub and next to the toilet, add stair railings and improve lighting to reduce glare and shadows.


Therapy Can Help Reduce Falls & Improve Balance
Maintaining proper balance and sense of body position is critical to preventing falls. A physical therapist works with individuals to identify risk factors and designs an individualized program of exercises and activities with an emphasis on strength, flexibility, and proper gait. Balance may be improved with exercises that strengthen the core, back, ankle, knee, and hip muscles along with exercises that improve the function of the balance system. Occupational therapists work with you to discuss changes and modifications that can be made around your home to help prevent falls from occurring. If you have concerns about your balance, call your doctor. Ask your doctor if you could benefit from therapy.

HTS is thrilled to be exhibiting at the 2015 APTA National Student Conclave in Omaha, Nebraska! In anticipation of the conference, we’ve put together a list of tips for getting the most out of your conference experience, whether it’s this event or a future state or national conference:

  • Before the event, determine what you hope to gain from the conference. The APTA has compiled a fantastic website for the event and the programming information can be found at http://www.apta.org/NSC/Programming/.  Upon reviewing the available options, prepare a schedule for yourself based on topics that are most relevant to your studies and most beneficial to your professional development.
  • If you need to document your conference attendance for class credit or CEU’s, be sure to find out in advance what is required so that you can get the necessary credit for participation. Also, you might find it beneficial to develop a strategy to organize and catalogue the notes and handouts from programs after the event.
  • Contrary to popular belief, you can use your time in the exhibit hall for more than just gathering the free stuff! The exhibit hall presents a fantastic opportunity to learn more about your profession and network with future employers.  Since you’ve already determined what you hope to gain from the conference, now you can review the list of exhibitors and figure out which booths would be most advantageous for you to visit.
  • Should you decide to use your time at the conference to network with future employers, you might find it useful to pack business cards or address labels with your contact information to share with your new contacts. This will allow you to spend more time connecting and less time writing your contact information.
  • You’ll likely only have a few moments with each potential employer so prepare a few questions in advance. Some suggestions:
    • In which setting does your company work?
    • Where are your job opportunities and do you offer relocation assistance?
    • Do you offer any mentorship for newly licensed therapists?

We hope you find these tips helpful and looking forward to seeing you at State and National conferences throughout the year!  Be sure to stop by the HTS Booth #519 and talk with Jessica Bashir and Holly Skidmore!

Jessica Bashir is the College Recruiter for Healthcare Therapy Services. Jessica manages collegiate relationships and educates and consults with physical, occupational and speech therapy students prior to entering the work force.  Additionally, Jessica connects students looking for clinical field work in one of HTS’ 100+ clinical sites. Look for her at a networking event near you! You can reach her via email at jessicas@htstherapy.com or by phone at (800) 486-4449 ext. 134

By: Aretoula Nahas, PTA, Director of Outpatient Therapy

As the average age of entry for licensed assisted living is 85 years of age, senior living providers are very focused on keeping their residents as independent for as long as possible. As a provider of contract physical, occupational and speech therapy in Assisted Living and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), our goal is to proactively address functional and cognitive decline so that residents can maintain their highest level of ability. From what we see on a daily basis, and reviewing ER admissions and national reports, most functional declines in active adults happen because of five primary reasons:

  1. Lack of muscle building exercise
  2. Environmental factors
  3. Chronic illness
  4. New injury or illness
  5. Medications

Functional decline means that a person shows a decreased ability to do daily tasks properly compared to their ability to do these same tasks three months prior. A decline often signifies the presence of an acute onset, a new underlying medical condition or exacerbation of an existing condition.

Falls are the single largest reason of decline among active adults. Falls can happen any due to any of the five primary reasons listed above. Think of a fall as the ultimate loss of balance. There are multiple factors to a fall that present themselves well before a fall takes place. Through QAPI, standardized therapy testing and formalized Fall Risk Management programs, we are able to peel back the layers to determine “root cause” for the fall.  A strong Fall Risk Management program is often tailored to treating the root cause factor that caused the fall, rather than all of the risk factors a patient has for falling. Falls are due to intrinsic factors (illness or medications) may not be prevented easily. Falls due to extrinsic factors (environmental factors) can be prevented or significantly reduced with extra precautions and education.

Provision of safety devices such as: grab bars and handles, high friction floors and footwear, as well as even (meaning no shadows to throw off depth perception) high power lighting can prevent or reduce a significant number of environmental falls. Regular exercise focused on core and lower body strength, consistent monitoring of and review of medications and therapeutic interventions for ongoing medical problems can significantly help to reduce the number of falls associated functional decline.

Functional Decline could be physical and/or cognitive in nature. When partnering with senior living providers, we take special care to train all staff including environmental, housekeeping and dietary to identify functional and cognitive decline. This could be anything from “furniture walkers”, increased maintenance calls to someone coughing through a meal in the dining room. There are consistent characteristics for a resident at risk for falling:

  • Functional decline include difficulty with ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) such as dressing or undressing safely
  • Lack of balance, any unexplained bruises
  • Loss of flexibility
  • New pain, taking more medication than usual
  • New medication
  • Significant weight loss within 30 days
  • Speech impairment or inability to follow simple commands
  • Signs of anti-social behavior or depression, not participating in life enrichment as usual
  • Decreased activity tolerance or coordination, lack of attention
  • Decreased stamina or strength

Everyone working around active adults should be trained and be able to report a decline to the clinical team. Although prevention is best for any decline, recognizing and reporting resident declines in a timely manner helps to manage the decline efficiently. Timely intervention will help the resident maintain or regain functional independence.

Aretoula Nahas is a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) and the Director of Outpatient Services for Healthcare Therapy Services, Inc. (HTS). HTS is an independent, therapist-owned contract provider of physical, occupational, speech therapy and wellness for assisted living, skilled nursing facilities and hospitals. HTS currently employs over 1,800 therapists and provides contract rehabilitation to over 100 clients in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan and Ohio.  For more information, contact info@htstherapy.com.