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SOV opens rehab service

By William K. Alcorn

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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Photo by: William D. Lewis

Betsy Casgrain, a resident at Shepherd of the Valley-Poland, receives physical therapy on an exercise bicycle from Circle Rehabilitation physical therapist Ryan McElhinney (not shown). Shepherd of the Valley has opened an on-site outpatient rehabilitation center in conjunction with Circle Rehab.



Betsy Casgrain likes the new outpatient rehabilitation service offered to clients and the community at Shepherd of the Valley-Poland.

“It’s much handier than going outside and cheaper, too,” said Casgrain with a smile. Casgrain, 88, is an assisted-living client at SOV-Poland.

Shepherd of the Valley – Poland, 301 W. Western Reserve Road, has opened an outpatient rehabilitation center in conjunction with Circle Rehab, which has 10 facilities in Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties.

This is a real conven-ience for the community as well as residents, said Patricia Ahlswede, residential-care coordinator.

Ahlswede, a registered nurse, noted that participants in the rehabilitation program need not be residents of Shepherd of the Valley, and she encouraged the public to come in to view the rehab area and have their questions answered.

Therapy is available Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

The purpose of therapy is to keep assisted-living and independent-living residents fit so they can remain as independent as possible for as long as possible, said Kelly Stansloski, associate director of SOV-Poland.

The goal is to keep residents at current or improved functional levels.

Preventing falls is a big part of the therapy, said Ryan McElhinny of Circle Rehab, which also has contracts with other area home-health agencies.

McElhinny, a physical-therapy graduate of Duquesne University, demonstrated balance therapy with Casgrain’s help. She practiced standing on two air-filled round discs while holding onto parallel bars for support. To build strength, she also exercised on a bicycle with a water wheel that adds resistance.

“It’s very hard,” said Casgrain, formerly of Canfield, who was an engineering draftsman at Simmers Engineering & Crane Co. in Canfield. She has two children, Gretchen Bell and Robert Kurz, both of Canfield, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

“Working with Circle Rehab affords us another opportunity to promote wellness at SOV-Poland and the community,” Ahlswede said.