Carlton gives overview of rehabilitation therapy
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Advanced aging or suffering from a disease or traumatic injury can cause serious issues with cognitive and physical functioning.
Getting patients to where they can go about their daily lives with the accommodations available can be a challenge for them and any caregivers they may have.
Depending on where someone is located, access to quality care can also be cause for concern.
Kaylor Carlton, Rehab Pro Speech Language Pathologist and Director of Rehab said it is not always necessary to travel to Tulsa for specific needs.
“You can get it right here and you can also be part of your community and get the family support you need,” she said in a ‘Mvskoke Radio’ interview. “Your family won’t have to drive as far as Tulsa and it won’t put a burden on them so I think that’s definitely something that people don’t realize.”
Carlton is an Osage Nation citizen who does contract work in Okmulgee and the surrounding area and operates out of Highland Park Manor in Okmulgee, which offers skilled nursing for seniors.
She said recovery depends on many factors but family support is vital to helping patients on their way.
“Encouraging them to be a part of their treatment sessions so that way when they get home they know, you know what they can do to encourage them to get better,” Carlton said. “Keeping positive spirit, a positive attitude; that definitely plays a big role in their success.”
Carlton gave an overview of what she and her colleagues offer.
“I work a lot with geriatric patients but all ages are welcome. I work with swallowing patients, Dysphasia patients specifically.
“Post stroke patients, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s Disease; any type of swallowing difficulty, I can address that and get them back to swallowing regular foods and get back with their life after a traumatic event,” she said.
She said cognitive and physical therapies as well as occupational treatment to regain self-care abilities are also available.
“We also have modalities, which is neuromuscular reeducation,” Carlton said. “Meaning if the brain is damaged, we can use specific machines to try and rehabilitate those muscles and get them back to functioning again.”
Carlton said the intensity and type of treatment depends on the condition and level of pain.
“They kind of tailor it to the individual need so if there’s high pain, they do a little bit less manual therapy, more of some strengthening exercises,” she said. “Maybe even teaching you how to complete these exercises on your own so maybe you can do it to your tolerance.”
She said age is also a factor.
“Because you know, these patients, geriatric patients, you know they’re not going to be the same as us, my age,” Carlton said.
Aquatic therapy, like is offered at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Physical Rehabilitation Center, can be easier on joints.
“Swimming allows you to move your muscles and get those strengthened without the resistance from the water but it also doesn’t jar your body repeating down on the ground and you know it’s not as vigorous but it’s still strengthening,” she said.
Carlton said rehab at HPM requires an inpatient stay and there is no set duration, which can vary depending on insurance and she said there are also outpatient facilities in the area.
“It’s a similar process I would say to being with a doctor’s office,” she said. “We usually get paperwork from a hospital or from a physician stating kind of what the needs are.”
Then the staff evaluates the level of therapy needed.
“We have some people that have been bedridden and just being up in a wheelchair is something that’s hard on them,” Carlton said. “So we have patients from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high. So we can do all of it in between.”
Carlton and her team is also willing to help students looking to get into the rehabilitation profession by providing career guidance and let students observe their work.
“You can ask us questions. We can kind of give you ideas about how to get accepted into the programs, where to look, what facilities and what universities offer the programs because there is a lot of different avenues to go in therapy,” she said.
Carlton can be reached through HPM at: 918-756-5611.