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Comprehensive Neuro Day Program

  • The Comprehensive Day Program, at Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital Outpatient Rehab Center, will offer individuals the advantages of living at home while receiving a combination of multiple therapies in a structured, supervised environment. The goals of the program are to maximize personal and functional independence that re-establishes a daily routine and ultimately allows individuals to actively participate in community and life roles. This is a specialized, outpatient rehabilitation program in a full-day format for individuals who can benefit from a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to recovery. The program is for patients who would benefit from a high intensity of rehabilitation services but do not require 24-hour nursing care in a hospital setting.

    Most participants benefit from a four-day-a-week program, which includes both individual and group therapies in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and therapeutic recreation. In addition, patients practice learned skills on their own in an open environment where supervision and assistance can be provided. The structured, supervised environment of the program also offers participants and their family members the daily support and guidance needed to live at home, yet continue to progress in their rehabilitation goals. Each day lasts approximately six to seven hours, and may also include neuropsychology consultation, medical consultation and social work consultation. To enhance community re-integration, community outings are regularly scheduled to identify and practice needed skills.  The Comprehensive Day Program may be an important next step in an individual’s continuum of care, transitioning from hospital to home. For other individuals, it may offer a vital first step in their rehabilitation.

    Each participant in the Comprehensive Day Program has a treatment team that collaborates on developing goals and a treatment plan specific to their needs. The treatment team may include:  

    Physician – A physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation oversees each participant’s medical care and rehabilitation.
    Physical Therapist – Works with participants to gain greater mobility, muscle strength and performance, joint motion and balance, and training on mobility devices.
    Occupational Therapist – Focuses treatment on regaining greater independence with activities for daily living (such as daily tasks and self-care), provides training on adaptive techniques and devices and develops skills necessary to fulfill life roles and/or work duties.
    Speech Language Pathologist – Provides tests, evaluation and treatment to improve communication, thinking, memory, problem-solving and hearing skills, any of which may be affected by illness or injury.
    Therapeutic Recreation Specialist – Provides participants with community resources and assists with community re-integration by combining therapy goals with participant’s recreational goals.
    Case Manager – Works with facilitating entry into the program by contacting client and/or family, manages insurance needs during the stay and facilitates team referral to next level of care upon discharge.
    Neuropsychologist – A clinical psychologist who works with participants and families to identify needs and concerns related to the psychological aspects of rehabilitation, including adjustment to changes.
    Patient Service Specialist – Serves as the main contact for participants and families during the program; coordinates team conferences, family conferences and family training sessions; and works closely with the therapists and case managers to coordinate all aspects of a participant’s care.

    Each participant’s program is coordinated, evaluated and modified through regular meetings of the treatment team and input from the participant and family. 

    Advantages include: 

    • Challenging and structured environment for learning
    • Reduced risk of re-hospitalization through frequent monitoring
    • Participants may qualify for in-house transportation services
    • “All Day Therapy”
    • Group treatment and social interaction in a safe and open environment
    • Community re-integration
    • Focus on independence
    • Daily access to resources
    • Home safety evaluations available
    • Resources to assist with returning to work (job site evaluation / referrals to vocational rehabilitation) or help with initiating disability paperwork
    • Facilitate contact with school systems regarding tutoring or re-integration into the classroom
    • Fewer separate service plans with separate goals
    • Fewer service providers involved directly with a patient and family at any one time
    • Flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the patient and his/her family
    • Comprehensive, team-based assessment and coordination of care across multiple disciplines
    • Team-based development of a service plan with emphasis placed on functional goals
    • Social support can mediate and moderate the effects of stress and help with the acquisition of new coping strategies
    • Improved communication and an integral part of the continuum of care by addressing multiple needs in one place
    • Engaging patients and families to play active roles in managing health needs