We’re continuing with our affiliate highlight series, this time turning our eye to Northwestern Medicine Aphasia Center at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Illinois.
What Makes Northwestern Medicine Aphasia Center Unique?
The Northwestern Medicine Aphasia Center at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital provides a comfortable and supportive environment for people with aphasia to continue to work on their communication skills and build their independence in activities for daily living. Participation based group treatment is provided by a certified speech-language pathologist.
In addition to improved language skills, increased opportunity for socialization and improved quality of life are at the forefront of our care. Each client participates in an individual goal setting meeting prior to participation in the group setting. These individualized goals are targeted across the participant’s 11-week enrollment. Participants can enroll in the program multiple times if they choose to do so.
Great Success Stories
Many of our clients have reached their personal goals and shown a lot of success, which makes it hard to choose only one story to tell. One example is about a gentleman who has been participating in the aphasia center for less than 9 months. Prior to his CVA, he presented work at a professional level in many group settings. One of his personal goals was to return to this public speaking role to share his knowledge and expertise in his subject area.
Through many months of preparation in technology club, math club, and individual meetings, we were able to prepare a PowerPoint presentation (with use of technological compensations) and use script training to reach his goal. He presented his work during a ‘Lunch and Learn’ event at our hospital with 22 people in attendance. As a result, he has demonstrated increased confidence, motivation, and improved quality of life outcomes as revealed via administration of the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale.
They Love What They Do
My favorite part of my work in the aphasia center is improving the quality of life in clients with chronic aphasia. It is extremely rewarding to see my clients make new relationships with other group members, have success with their communication, and achieve their personal goals. The highlights of my work days are facilitating group interactions via multi-modality communication to allow every person in the group the chance to communicate with their peers.
Services and Support Groups
We offer a supportive group therapy environment that utilizes the Life Participation Approach to aphasia. Our program runs for 11-weeks with clients attending one time per week for three hours. Participation in our program includes seven different types of activities: book club, music club, technology club, math club, game club, fitness club, and cooking club.
In addition to our Aphasia Center programming, we also offer an Aphasia Conversation Group which is part of our support group programming and is free and open to anyone in the community. Our conversation group includes support for both people with aphasia and their caregivers.
Special Services for Caregivers
Support for caregivers is available in our conversation group.
We are part of Northwestern Medicine, which is one of the largest hospital systems in Illinois. Our clinic is located in the western suburbs of Chicago where other aphasia clinic options are limited.
Do you live in the Wheaton, Illinois area? Contact the Northwestern Medicine Aphasia Center for speech services and support groups.
We’re spending 2018 highlighting our affiliates in order to make it easier for caregivers to find services for their loved ones. Are you an affiliate of the NAA and would like to be highlighted in a future installment? Please fill out the form and we’ll contact you.