Wheeling Hospital Offers Post-COVID Outpatient Rehab Program

WHEELING—Recovery from COVID-19 is an ongoing process for many, especially after a stay in the hospital, and Wheeling Hospital has initiated a rehabilitation program to help post-COVID patients. Post-COVID symptoms vary, but may include shortness of breath, fatigue, generalized or localized weakness, cardiac deficits, decreased ability to concentrate, and memory issues. Suzanne Holsen, Occupational Therapy director, said, “These symptoms can result in difficulty returning to your everyday life and participating in daily activities such as dressing, bathing, grooming, toileting, cooking, cleaning, shopping, driving, returning to work or school, swallowing, communicating or walking.” The rehabilitation process actually begins in the hospital, based on currents needs/deficits, and contin- ues with transition to home health or the Outpatient Rehabilitation program. “Outpatient Rehab may be the first step for those recovering from COVID at home,” Curt Neel, director of Physical Therapy, said. The program addresses weakness, decreased balance, decreased activity tolerance, swallowing difficulties, speech deficits, cognitive impairments, limb numbness, pain, dizziness, difficulty walking and decreased ability to participate in meaningful everyday activities. In addition, telehealth services allow treatment to be completed from home, if desired. “We provide a multidisciplinary approach with physical, occupational and speech therapy,” Sheila Archer, senior director of Rehabilitation Services, said. “The individualized treatment is based on patients’ specific goals, needs and deficits.” Those who are experiencing post-COVID symptoms and believe they may benefit from the program should discuss it with their physician. For more information, call one of Wheeling Hospital’s outpatient rehabilitation departments: Occupational Therapy (304) 243-3195; Physical Therapy (304) 243-3307; Speech Therapy (304) 243-3770.

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