Even after acute-care hospitalization and inpatient rehabilitation services, many adults with brain injury and brain disorders still have functional deficits that require ongoing rehabilitation. However, they often lack the insurance coverage to afford continuity of treatment. It is also difficult to find all of the necessary services under one roof.
In its Columbia location, the Loyola Clinical Centers (LCC) offers these clients a solution.
The interdisciplinary team at the LCC has the expertise to clearly identify the cognitive, communicative and mental health strengths and weaknesses of each client with a neurological disorder and to connect those clients with appropriate therapies that can produce measurable, meaningful improvements in memory, attention, communication and quality of life.
“Before we started providing these services, therapists in the community were looking for places to refer their patients whose benefits had run out,” said Cindy Nichols, speech-language pathology clinical faculty member who oversees the adult communication services in Columbia. “We can offer all these services in one place.”
The LCC treats adults with progressive neurological disorders, early onset dementia, stroke and traumatic brain injury. After interdisciplinary comprehensive assessments, clients can take advantage of speech-language pathology screenings and assessments; speech-language pathology prevention and rehabilitation services; and counseling services provided through Loyola’s speech-language pathology, psychology and pastoral counseling divisions.
In addition to individual sessions, some clients visit the LCC for weekly group language sessions, holding conversations together as the Loyola graduate students and faculty members offer support.
“There are individuals in there who are perfectly fluent, and then there are folks who don’t say a word. We really want them to be communicating with their peers,” said Nichols, who has watched the participants become friends. “They look forward to it. For a lot of our clients, it’s a highlight of their week.”
The LCC offers a sliding scale for fees, and clients regularly receive services at an average discount of 65% based on financial need.
Because Loyola graduate students work with clients during their hands-on training, the LCC is able to offer clients lower rates than can private practices.
“It’s really a win-win-win for everybody because the clients get really reasonable rates and really great service, and graduate students receive excellent training and experience,” Nichols said. “Most people in Howard County, even if they have heard about the Clinical Centers, they think it is for children. We want them to know that we are here. It’s a gem, hidden away, but also in plain sight.”