- Difficulty with thinking: Memory, Attention and Problem Solving
- The Aging Brain
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Aquired Brain Injury (ABI)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Dementia or Alzheimer’s
Cobalt Therapy works with adults who struggle with cognitive impairment. Our goal is to increase independence in daily acts of living for those with cognitive deficits. We achieve this by helping with personalized compensatory strategies and creating restorative exercises to improve brain performance.
Cognitive deficits include attention and memory problems, as well as problem-solving abilities. By targeting these specific areas, we significantly improve the brain’s ability to manage important responsibilities like finances and medications.
Some people may not have an underlying disease or traumatic event in their past. As we age, there is a normal decline with our cognitive abilities. This, combined with loss of stamina, forces us to struggle with ever-changing technology. The rules for maintaining independence are constantly changing. It can be difficult to tell just how much of this is considered “normal” aging vs falling just outside the norm. The true mild cognitive declines can be much more difficult to understand and address.
With our standardized cognitive testing, we can help determine if your cognition is aging typically or falling outside of that. The decline can be just enough to make you struggle with the new cell phone or iPad that you got for Christmas. Let’s face it. We all struggle with technology to some degree. However, even as we age the basic functions of a cell phone or tablet shouldn’t be a challenge. If you find yourself struggling with the basics, our testing and treatment program can help improve your cognitive skills. It can also help you finally understand how to use that cell phone or iPad!
Cobalt’s brain training exercises will help improve your overall thinking abilities. We also make sure that you have a voice in goal setting. For example, if your goal is to engage with your loved ones or see them on social media, we make it a functional and enjoyable part of your brain training program!
Adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) can experience a variety of changes that make day-to-day functioning almost unbearable. When we acquire a TBI (such as a concussion) or an Acquired Brain Injury (such as a stroke), a robust rehabilitation program is required to regain cognitive functions.
Difficulties range depending on the severity of the injury. If the brain injury is significant enough to show up on imaging, such as a CT scan or MRI, the loss can be overwhelming for both the patient and loved ones. You may need a speech therapist to help improve functions across the spectrum of services including: swallowing, speech, voice, communication and cognition.
When injuries to the brain do not show up on imaging, the effects can be devastating in a much different way. Everything is showing up as “normal” yet you know you are not thinking as clearly as you did prior to your head injury. Getting started with a thorough standardized cognitive assessment can help you compare your thinking abilities with other people with your age and education. This type of testing has been shown in studies to be more accurate (sensitive) than imaging due to the fact that technology is still not advanced enough to visualize the micro shears that happen in concussions. This can help your therapist and doctor shape the care plan for your overall brain function.
To complicate matters, people with TBI often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can worsen existing cognitive impairment, as well as one’s ability to return to work and engage appropriately with those around them. There are a variety of ways to better manage these difficulties so that you can feel in control again.
Over the years, Speech-Language Pathologists have discovered novel ways to stimulate the brain with the right intensity and frequency to improve brain function. Cobalt combines these restorative treatment techniques with effective compensatory strategies that can lessen the negative impact of these deficits and help regain a sense of control again.
For those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, loved ones can feel lost in areas of personal management. While there are no cures for these cognitive impairments, there are many opportunities to improve one’s quality of life. This includes decreasing the rate of cognitive decline as well as finding ways to compensate for cognitive difficulties. The brain, much like a muscle, needs to be stimulated to work well.
Let us help you navigate this challenging path with your loved one and create a functional maintenance plan that can improve everyone’s quality of life. We have extensive experience with the dementia population and use methods based in research to help with optimal management of the disease process.
Why: Referred to Cobalt Therapy for her aphasia (difficulty with words) and apraxia of speech (difficulty sequencing the sounds in words)
Then what happened?
Dianne had her stroke in 2015 which left her ability to speak severely impaired. When we met her on May 19, 2020 she could only make the “shhh” and “fff” sound when trying to voice. She would end up just shaking her head no in frustration.
When learning about her history with speech therapy, we were told she initially had speech therapy 3 times a week for 3 months after her stroke. Due to “lack of progress” she was decreased to once a week over a 5 year period. She was given a complex communication tablet to use in place of her voice. This ended up never being used due to how complex the device was. In October of 2019, she was given a final discharge from speech therapy declaring “Maximum potential achieved”. This meant she was not expected to make any more progress.
To achieve better results, we started treatment at 4 days a week, 60 minutes per session. She was also given an additional hour of home exercises to complete each day with her husband.
After just 3 weeks her ability to voice had improved by 10-15 dB and she was able to count to 5 with 50% intelligibility. After 4 weeks, her volume improved by 15-20 dB and her speech intelligibility increased to 90% when counting to 5.
It has been over a year now and Dianne has been learning how to write and say functional words again. She is down to 2 treatment sessions a week with a strong home exercise program. This never would have been possible without all of Dianne’s hard work, her very supportive husband and a treatment program that was high in frequency and intensity.