WESLACO – For the staff at Valley Rehab Center, the month of April has more significance than just the arrival of Spring.

“Here at Valley Rehab Center, we look forward to this month because our profession is recognized during National Occupational Therapy Month,” said Joe Longoria, Director of Rehab at this out- and in-patient rehabilitation facility in Weslaco. “This recognition is a good reminder to all of us regarding the important work we do every day to help our patients resume their everyday activities following an accident or illness.”

Valley Rehab Center is located adjacent to Valley Grande Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. It caters to residents of the nursing home and also serves the needs of those who come several times a week as they recuperate from various physical challenges.

Valley Rehab Center has one of the most comprehensive occupational therapy centers in the area with a professional staff that works closely with the nursing staff.

OT-session-with-resident-Virgilio-Torres--1Valley Rehab Center occupational therapist Clarissa Martin, OTR, works with resident Virgilio Torres.

“We’re a bit unique in the Valley,” said Longoria. “Some of our patients were residents of the nursing facility and now come as out-patients,” he said. “It is very convenient for them because they are working with the same therapists so the treatments are seamless. By the same token, we have other patients – ranging from high school athletes to older people – who come several times a week as they recover from sports injuries, car accidents, or strokes.”

This “special” month also gives the staff an opportunity to educate the public about the roles of an occupational therapist. It is especially important at Valley Grande Manor because these therapists work closely with the nursing staff to make sure the highest quality of care is given to patients.

Basically, these healthcare professionals help a person regain functions that
have meaning and purpose,” said Longoria. “We also work with them so they don’t lose any of the capabilities related to activities of daily life (ADL).

“In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Common therapies include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.”

Some of these activities include:

  • Paying bills
  • Getting the mail
  • Home management activities
  • Hobbies and past times
  • Bathing
  • Wheel chair mobility
  • Cooking

“The objective is to help the patient achieve and regain the necessary improvements so they can reach the maximum level of independence,” added Longoria. “We work with them on improving their strength, endurance, balance, and fine-motor coordination.”

About Valley Grande Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Valley Grande Manor, which has approximately 175 employees, is a full-service nursing home that offers post-operative temporary rehabilitation and long-term nursing care. The on-site rehabilitation center provides speech, occupational and physical therapy to residents and outpatient clients. Valley Grande Manor is located at 1212 South Bridge Avenue. For more information, call (956) 968-2121.