If you haven’t seen the upgraded rehabilitation therapy room at New Community Extended Care Facility recently, the staff would welcome you to stop by.
They are eager to show off the renovated space, located on the first floor of the skilled nursing facility at 266 South Orange St. in Newark. As you will see, the changes are quite dramatic.
The rehabilitation services provided by Activa Rehab at Extended Care include physical, occupational and speech therapies. The team of therapists is dedicated to providing the highest quality care while maintaining a healing touch.
The rehab space now boasts a new kitchen, bedroom and bathroom—all designed to mimic a realistic house-like environment, Facility Administrator Robert Smolin said.
“We’re hoping that the rehab is just like a person’s apartment where they can relearn the skills needed to quickly get back home,” he said. “You get robbed of that from an injury or a disease,” he added.
The bedroom has a twin bed and matching wooden dresser, complete with accents like framed pictures. Here residents rehearse daily tasks such as transferring from the bed to a wheelchair or other walking assistance device, and vice versa.
At the kitchen, residents build up their tolerance of standing, said Toa Zoko, physical therapist assistant. Residents also employ their fine motor skills to adjust the knobs on the stove, turn on the faucet, heat leftovers in the microwave or open the refrigerator.
In the bathroom, which features a full tub and toilet, residents practice movements such as tub transfers. Getting more comfortable with the motions helps lessen any anxieties or fear of slipping once an individual is on his or her own, Janneth Gallosa, an occupational therapist, noted.
“They were so happy that they got this,” Gallosa said of the reaction from residents. The newly installed simulation spaces greatly expand the range of therapy activities provided at Extended Care. The renovations were completed by Environmental Services in the span of about two to three weeks, according to Smolin.
Arlene George said she began going to physical therapy at Extended Care in December of 2015 after having her left leg amputated. She works with the therapists for at least one-and-a-half to two hours each day.
“They always say take your time, have patience, everything will work out fine,” said George, a 41-year-old resident of Newark.
A native of the Virgin Islands, George said that the new features are a big plus for rehab patients. “I use everything,” she said. “It’s great.”
The makeover, which included new paint throughout the space, builds upon previous upgrades to the rehab room. Last September, Extended Care received a donated elliptical machine and home gym from a local resident who was moving out of state. Gallosa said that the machines provide more exercise options for higher functioning residents, such as middle-aged adults.
The completed renovations to the first floor rehabilitation therapy room complement other upgrades that have taken place around the 180-bed capacity nursing home. In January, every resident’s room received brand new flat screen televisions with access to 48 cable channels.
For more information on rehabilitation therapy, call Extended Care at 973-624-2020.