University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services now offers a weekly Wheelchair and Seating Mobility Clinic, open by appointment from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Wednesday, at UM Shore Rehabilitation Center at Easton, located at 10B Martin Court in Easton.
“Our goal is to increase our clients’ independence with mobility,” says Angela Jancosko, physical therapist and clinical coordinator. “Due to a variety of limitations – neurological, orthopedic, cardiovascular and those related to pain – people using wheelchairs are often unable to get around easily within their homes. In our outpatient clinic, we can evaluate and assess their status to determine what changes can be made to improve their ability to move within their homes.”
For each client, the Wheelchair and Seating Mobility Clinic first provides a personal physical therapy evaluation, conducted with an assistive technology professional to determine his or her best wheelchair and seating options. Based on the outcomes of that evaluation, a chair is created – either a manual wheelchair, scooter or power wheelchair. Angela works with the vendor to ensure the chair is created with the client’s individual needs in mind and, when the chair is completed, helps arrange delivery by the vendor directly to the client’s home. Angela and the vendor are also available for follow-up questions.
The clinic is open to individuals of any age with wheelchair or seating needs. According to Angela, some of the more typical diagnoses of clients attending the clinic are congenital birth defects; extensive cardiopulmonary complications; and neurologically based diagnoses including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscle atrophy, spinal cord injury, cerebrovascular accident/stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, among others.
Client Mary Robinson of St. Michaels said the Wheelchair and Seating Mobility Clinic is an asset for the five-county region served by UM SRH.
“I got my first wheelchair in 2012 at the Kennedy Krieger Center for Spinal Cord Injury,” Mary says. “Seven years later, when it was time to purchase a power wheelchair, I was pleased to learn that I could do that right here in Easton. The Shore Regional Health Rehabilitation Center at Easton is staffed by a team of professionals who are trained in all aspects of assessment to make sure the chair will be custom-fitted for each person.”
Mary said seeking professional guidance when purchasing a new chair is imperative. “Don’t buy a wheelchair from a commercial site. This is a tool that must meet your physical and medical condition so that it can make life easier for you,” she says.
In cases where travel to Easton is impossible, the clinic can accommodate requests for the appointment to take place at UM Shore Rehabilitation Centers at Denton, Dorchester or Queenstown. Additionally, based on client needs, clinic hours in Easton may be increased.
UM Shore Regional Health’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services is a proud member of the University of Maryland Rehabilitation Network. For more information or to see whether you are eligible, contact your primary care physician for a referral and call the Rehabilitation Patient Navigator at 410-822-1000, ext. 5857, or learn more about our inpatient and outpatient Rehabilitation Services by visiting www.umshoreregional.org/rehabilitation.