Winning Wheels Announces
Brain Injury Support Group

October 2014

Winning Wheels will be offering a brain injury support group open to all individuals who have brain injuries and their families, friends and caregivers. The support group will be held on the third Tuesday of each month from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the Therapy Annex at Winning Wheels. The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 21st.

Katrina Gerber, MSW, LSW, Winning Wheels Social Worker, will be conducting the group and says, "It is important for the healing process, to talk and share about your or your loved one's injury. The purpose of this group is to provide support, education, and a safe place to talk about the struggles that life brings with brain injuries."

In the United States, a brain injury occurs every 23 seconds. Individuals with brain injuries and their families, friends and caregivers often need an outlet to share their experiences and learn from others. Winning Wheels is proud to offer this service to the community to provide an atmosphere where individuals can learn, listen and get strength and courage from each other.

For more information regarding the Brain Injury Support Group, please call Katrina Gerber at 815-537-5168 ext. 213.

Summer is Always an
Adventure in Therapy

August 2014

Winning Wheels expands its Adventures in Therapy program yet again! Leaving their wheelchairs behind this summer, residents took to the water, utilizing the new lift at the local pool, enjoying the wave pool and waterslides at Magic Waters, and participating in the Access to Waves adaptive water ski clinic. The Backwater Gamblers hosted Access to Waves and posted this video of one skier having a blast. Check out that big smile!

Also new to the Adventures in Therapy program this year is the Jogging Chair, acquired through a grant from the Christopher Reeve Foundation. The jogging chair, nicknamed "The Racer", has three large wheels making it easier for a runner to push. Team STRIVE, consisting of Nancy Cummings, Day Treatment Coordinator, and a courageous resident, has participated in the Prophetstown Firecracker 5K and the Morrison Strides for Students Run. This is a great opportunity for our residents to experience participation in a community event. It's so much fun that Team STRIVE is already planning trips to Sterling, Rock Island and Rockford.

This summer, Day Treatment residents are enjoying the Adaptive Swing, donated by the Seth Ernst Memorial Soccer Slam. The adaptive swing is another opportunity to leave wheelchairs behind and enjoy the simple pleasure of swinging on a warm summer day.

Winning Wheels continues to offer therapeutic horseback riding as part of its Adventures in Therapy program. Certified instructors at Pegasus in Oregon, IL interview residents to identify weaknesses and develop goals to attain. Residents gain positive outcomes, such as increased balance and bed mobility.

Every year, Winning Wheels is increasing the number of participants in the Adventures in Therapy program. All of the hard work that goes into successfully attaining therapy goals in our on-site therapy gym is rewarded with fun, challenging, off-site adventures.

No Winter Blues at Winning Wheels

February 2014

There's too much to do to have the winter blues! Our own STRIVE power soccer team travelled to Geneseo to demonstrate their sport at the Seth Ernst Memorial Soccer Tournament. Spectators at the event were impressed with not only their abilities on the court, but with their enthusiasm and team spirit.

The day started with an introduction ceremony that would rival any NBA pre-game production. Dressed in neon green t-shirts and sunglasses, each team member is introduced by their nickname (Diva, Beast, Mr. Cool) with their favorite song blaring from the sound system. The team divided into 2 groups to play a scrimmage game to demonstrate the game of wheelchair power soccer, showing their usual competitive thirst and enthusiasm, which was well received by the spectators. Next, the team competed against community members who found it challenging to maneuver wheelchairs.

Many thanks to the tournament coordinators who were gracious hosts and treated the STRIVE power soccer team like rock stars!

Winning Wheels shook off the winter blues at their Snowball Dance. The party got started with the DJ from Fat Dawg Productions spinning some hot tunes. They did a great job playing everyone's requests. Hamming it up for the camera in the photo booth was a big hit. Who knew everyone was so photogenic? Rounding out the evening was the crowning of our Snowball King and Queen, Dan and Lucy.

The Snowball Dance just gets better every year. And what a great way to shake off the winter blues!

Winning Wheels First Short-Term
Rehab Stay a Success

January 2014

Warren came to Winning Wheels to receive rehabilitation due to a stabbing wound to his thigh. Transferring from OSF Medical Center in Peoria, Warren's goal in coming to Winning Wheels was to receive physical and occupational therapy and wound care in order to transition back to his home in the community with support from his family. Warren was our first admission to the short-term rehabilitation wing, Stepping Stones.

Stepping Stones Rehab to Home helps people achieve their maximum functional capacity and get back safely to their homes and community in the shortest time possible. To achieve this goal, our residents receive physical, occupational and speech therapy from compassionate and highly skilled therapists. Our therapists are part of a larger team that includes physicians, nurses, social workers and nutritionists, who work with the resident and family members to develop an individualized care plan.

During his physical therapy, Warren worked on gait training using parallel bars, a walker and crutches both inside and outside the facility. He also completed training in navigating stairs. During his occupational therapy, Warren completed ADL retraining, neuromuscular re-education with standing balance strategies, functional transfer training, and simple meal preparation tasks. He was also educated in regards to safety strategies and self wound and skin monitoring.

Generally, those needing short-term, in-patient rehabilitation may remain involved in the program at our facility for as little as a couple of days to as many as a couple of months. Warren was discharged just a short three weeks after his admission to live with his family. Winning Wheels assisted Warren with arranging services through a home health care agency for wound care and therapy sessions to continue his rehabilitation process. With the support of his family, his transition home was successful and he is currently living in his own home. Warren visited Winning Wheels recently to show off his ability to walk independently with a cane.

Winning Wheels is proud to have Warren as our first resident of Stepping Stones Rehab to Home and to have been a part of his success story.

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