Warren Manor adds therapy building, ‘virtual rehab’ system

Warren Manor has a new therapy building and has added a state-of-the-art Omni VR, a three-dimensional “virtual rehabilitation” system used for “aging adults and others with physical limitations.”

Therapists are using the Omni to make speech, occupational and physical therapy fun and rewarding for residents at the Manor. With the Omni, patients sit or stand in front of a TV screen topped by a light-sensitive “camera” that reads their movements, similar to a popular video game. They can choose from various activities to enhance movement and gait, speech and other skills typical of therapy.

The system “captures the patient’s precise movement in an interactive, computer simulated environment without the use of cumbersome controllers or platforms. Once the patient has entered the virtual environment, treating therapists use their expertise and clinical judgment to select the proper exercise program and parameters that best suit the patient’s condition and treatment goals,” according to the company that produces the Omni.

Since more than 50 percent of residents at the Manor return to their home environment, they often need help with cooking, laundry and bathing and instruction in exercises to improve function. The addition to Warren Manor includes a new kitchen, washer and dryer and bathroom, complete with a full-sized tub to help train patients in transfers so they can return home comfortably.

Patients can literally re-learn how to get out of the tub, cook meals, load the dishwasher and do laundry, “all the functional things that we take for granted, that our residents are going to have to do when they get home,” said Erinn Sveda, director of rehab at the Manor.

She added, “As the residents progress and are close to discharge to home, the Warren Manor therapy team offers home assessments to address the resident’s safety in his or her home environment as well as addressing special equipment needs.”

The extra space – 3,200 square feet – is helping the Manor’s 11 speech, occupational and physical therapists and assistants serve the 45 to 55 patients they see there daily.

An open house to dedicate the addition was held Tuesday.