Speech therapy offered in-home to stroke patients across province

Toronto Rehab Stroke Service provides intensive inpatient rehabilitation for patients from across Ontario but securing ongoing outpatient therapy for those outside Toronto can be challenging.

Recently, Toronto Rehab speech-language pathologists Marla Fogelman and Alyssa Bobkin saw an opportunity to use in-home video-conferencing to provide therapy to patients who might otherwise have had no access to intervention, despite having debilitating communication impairment as a result of stroke.

Marla and Alyssa were working with several stroke patients who had significant aphasia, a communication impairment resulting in difficulty comprehending and formulating language. It is one of the greatest negative impacts on quality of life post stroke. 

The patients needed more therapy but had limited options once discharged home.

"The inpatient team decided to look into alternative service delivery methods and the idea of telehealth came up," explains Marla, adding they soon realized Toronto Rehab's Stroke Outpatient team could access secure in-home video-conferencing through the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN).

"This is a really exciting and innovative way to deliver service," says Marla. "We could reduce wait times for patients, help patients and families avoid transportation costs and potentially provide therapy to individuals who physically are housebound."

Read more at UHN.ca

May is Speech and Hearing Month and we celebrate our many dedicated speech-language professionals at Toronto Rehab. To ensure that the best equipment, facilities and resources are available to our clinicians, patients and the community now and in the future, Toronto Rehab has launched a $100-million Where Incredible Happens fundraising campaign. Learn more

In photo (UHN): Alyssa Bobkin (L) and Marla Fogelman