Neurophysiotherapy is aimed at improving functional independence in patients who have a neurological condition. This method of treatment focuses on the patient actively participating in exercises. The physiotherapist uses handling techniques and facilitation to assist the patient and enforce good movement patterns.

Patient rehabilitation commences as early as possible after admission to a hospital Intensive Care Unit or ward. Patients who are medically monitored and stable are able to start physiotherapy.

Following discharge from hospital, patients will continue rehabilitation on an outpatient basis to ensure good carry over and translation of learnt skills to the home environment.

Occupational therapy is a client-centred profession concerned with promoting health and well-being, preventing disability and enhancing development through occupation. The primary goal of Occupational Therapy is to enable people to participate in their activities of everyday life.

Following a neurological event, physical abilities are often affected which can have a direct impact on functional independence and quality of life.  Occupational Therapy aims to restore and develop these vital skills necessary to lead meaningful and satisfying lives following neurological injuries. 

Depending on the diagnosis, Occupational Therapy usually commences early on in the acute phase of the condition, and may continue right through until the final stages of rehabilitation.  Treatment programs are designed specific to each patient and we regularly work within a multi-disciplinary team to ensure the best possible functional outcome. 

Our practice treats adult patients in any phase of their physical/neurological illness.  We service two private hospitals, namely Milnerton Medi-Clinic and Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital.  Following discharge from the acute facilities, we may continue with out-patient therapy at our treatment rooms in Sunningdale.  We also conduct home-visits when accessibility assessments are required, or when patients are bedridden, or simply don’t have the transport to reach our facility.

We are a team of Neurological Occupational Therapists who are passionate about supporting the rehabilitation process by helping those affected to find their new version of normal.  For some, it may be to support a hospital discharge, adapt the home environment or to source relevant equipment to maximise independence.  For others it may include improving daily routine, advising on fatigue management, improving cognitive function or facilitating a return to work.

We treat any physical/neurological condition which impedes a person’s ability to function normally.  The pathologies treated most frequently include:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury, including concussion
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Motor Neuron Disease
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Amputations

Communication and swallowing difficulties can result from a variety of causes, including (but not limited to): Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other forms of motor neuron disease (MND), brain tumours, Dementia (including Alzheimer’s Disease), Guillian-Barre Syndrome, head and neck cancer, Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke and traumatic brain injury.

We know that communicating with others, specifically loved ones, is an important part of daily life. In addition, we understand that being able to enjoy food and share meals with our families is of equal importance and greatly influences quality of life. We therefore provide intervention in the areas of:

  • Speech production, which includes: articulation, fluency, resonance and voice production.
  • Language processing and use, including the comprehension and expression of both spoken and written language.
  • Dysphagia (swallowing disorders), where the goal is to achieve adequate nutrition and hydration by means of the least restrictive diet possible, and allow for the safe consumption of food, liquid and medication.

As speech and language therapists we provide a wide range of services and in addition to speech, language and swallowing difficulties, we provide also provide intervention in the areas of:

  • Cognitive aspects of communication, for example: attention, memory and problem solving.
  • Voice therapy focused specifically on voice production where symptoms include hoarseness, reduced vocal intensity, and/or breathy, strained voice quality, which hinders communication with others.
  • Alternative and Augmentive Communication for individuals who are unable to communicate verbally and thereby allow active and meaningful participation within social-communicative interactions.

Our practice generally provides intervention on an individual basis; however, support is also provided for family members and caregivers, as we feel that they are an integral part of the rehabilitation team.  We provide services during any stage of the neurological condition, from the acute phase in-hospital, as well as on an out-patient basis following discharge from hospital or the rehabilitation unit.

We are passionate about improving each individual’s ability to communicate effectively and meaningfully and allow for safe oral intake during meal times, thereby ultimately improving quality of life through the rehabilitation of these functions.

Stroke Symptoms

The brain needs a special approach to nurture it to its fullest health. You need insight, warmth, knowledge, patience, skill, and lots of experience. I have been working with this team for many years and I would take my own brain to them without hesitation. They are well equipped to deal with a wide spread of neurological problems. From traumatic brain injuries to strokes, from muscle diseases to balance problems, from memory impairments to pain management. They are a good earth to sow your seed of hope!
Dr Pierre van der Merwe
Specialist Neurologist
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