Rehab

may need physical therapy and because of cognitive impairment might require speech therapy too.

Communication with nurses, CNAs and dietary people is equally important. We need to know how the patient is doing outside of the therapy department. We need to know what is going on. If a patient is doing well in one department but not in another, then we need to figure out what is happening. Perhaps if the patient does not feel motivated. Redefining their goals and encouraging them to reach their goals becomes critical, Banker said.

Patients display a wide range of motivation while undergoing therapy. That is why therapists take on the role of coach and cheerleader, inspiring them to continue with a determined spirit. Sometimes patients will resist with the comment, “You don’t know what it is like being in my condition!” By listening to them, they usually become motivated to work with me. I spend a lot of time telling them what physical, occupational or speech therapy is all about to get them to the highest functional level possible. Banker added that she often performs the physical exercises along with the patient.

Apart from the therapies that resident patients undergo, residents are kept mov-

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ing through group exercise programs and activities as well as exercises residents can perform in their respective rooms or the activity room. Such balance and strengthening exercises enable them to walk on their own to the dining and, activity rooms. Group exercise programs and activities are coordinated by the home’s activity director. Members of the nursing staff also monitor and observe how well patients are performing individual tasks.

Banker is no stranger to exercise. She is a half-marathon runner having participated in the Green Bay Cellcom and Fox Cities half-marathons. She is also a biker and plans to participate in a du-athalon which calls for running and biking. Her motivation varies. Depending on the race course she likes completing it and/ or improving her time. I get up before work to run and do exercises after work, and I share that information with my patients. When I do exercises along with my patients I hear good comments about that. They are glad I am doing them too. I make it a point to ask them, ‘Do you know which group of mucsles you are strengthening while you are performing this exercise?’ Banker said.

When Banker’s father had a total hip replacement, this inspired her to enter the therapy field. I had to help my father with physical therapy exercises so he would be able to build muscle strength and endurance to be able to perform previous activities. I have always loved working with people especially the geriatric population and have the gift of being able to communicate with them, and enjoy helping them to become as strong as they can be, Banker said.