Reinventing Rehab

Dec 09, 2014 at 10:00 am by steve

Nick Beckham

Aspire Physical Recovery Center Opens in Hoover

Patients rehabbing new knees to speed recovery have very different needs from those who require long term nursing or palliative care. The clinical objectives, the treatment technologies, and the optimum physical and psychological environments all differ greatly from standard long term care strategies.

To support the best possible outcomes in patients needing rehab, Northport Health Services is launching the Aspire Physical Recovery Center in the Hoover/Vestavia area. It is a new concept that redefines what a rehab center can be.

“Although we’re known for working with assisted living and nursing homes in Alabama and surrounding states, we have been seeing a growing number of people who need a place where they can focus on getting better after a joint replacement, stroke, heart surgery or plastic surgery,” executive director Nick Beckham said.

“Our objective is to reduce rehospitalization, shorten the length of stay and improve quality of life for patients while they are here. To achieve these goals, Aspire brings together the advanced care and treatment technologies of a high quality in-patient rehab facility and combines it with the atmosphere and amenities of a resort. This helps patients achieve the maximum benefits from both their working rehab hours and their resting hours.”

A centerpiece of the new facility is a 3500-square-foot gym complete with a track lift system combined with virtual reality projection.

“The lift system can take from zero to 100 percent of the weight off the patient,” Beckham said. “It offers some of the same benefits of aquatic rehab, only better. There are no worries about getting water into incisions. Patients who have just had surgery can begin low or non-weight-bearing rehab right away without having to lie down.

“The virtual reality system projects the patient’s silhouette on the screen so they are in the visual environment of the track’s course. “

Like a ballerina exercising in front of a mirror, patients can see how they are standing and the therapist can help them adjust their position for the best results. The visual pathway also helps to engage the patient’s interest.

“When they come to a log down on the path, they lift their feet to step over it. If they don’t clear it, they start again. There are little challenges along the way so they can feel a sense of achievement as they make progress.” Beckham said.

The 120-bed facility has 70 private rooms with their own bathrooms and showers. Each of four self-sustaining units is equipped to focus on a different type of rehabilitation. Care is provided by a 100 percent RN nursing staff, and more complex cases have a higher ratio of nurses to patients. A full-time nurse practitioner is on staff to deal with issues that need immediate attention or monitoring.

The resort-like setting should make resting hours much more enjoyable. Each unit has its own fireplace and screened porch, living room and dining room. Aspire’s chef prepares not only special diets, but also meals you might expect to find in a fine restaurant.

In addition to spa services like massage and a nail and hair salon, if patients are up for more activity after their rehab sessions, recreational facilities on-site include putt putt golf and other amenities.

Located between Vestavia and Hoover near I-65 and Highway 31, Aspire Physical Recovery Center is partnering with Brookwood Medical Center, St. Vincent’s Hospital and UAB Highlands to ease the transition for patients between the hospital and the facility. The center is now welcoming its first patients and anticipates being fully operational within the coming months.

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