Access | Empower | Participate | Educate | Mentor
Next STEP is an educational, topic driven, peer community meeting designed to educate and empower individuals with disabilities to take the next step in their recovery. Topics range from solving the everyday problems and challenges of living with a disability, to accessing resources and information in order to maximize life participation in every sense of the word.
Peer mentoring is an integral part of this group as we learn best from those who have been there before us. While we will sometimes have speakers from the community, many of our sessions will feature presentations and experiences from members of the group so that we may learn from one another.
We recognize that the major life changes that go along with acquired disabilities affect not just the individual, but all members of the family and social network. While the focus of the group is on the recovering individual, we welcome family, friends and other support team members to join the conversation.
Come join us for a conversation on the benefits of Guided Meditation for health and healing following stroke, spinal cord injury and/or brain injury. Bryn Kennedy, DPT will lead a discussion on the positive effects of mindfulness and meditation on wellness and Joelle Rogers will lead the group through the practice of guided meditation and share how this practice has played a role in her total body wellness and recovery.
Discussion led by: Julia Christian, OTR/L and Ben Gill
Come join us for a conversation on returning to work following your injury. Julia will discuss elements to consider before returning to work (from a therapeutic perspective) and how return to work can affect your recovery. Ben Gill will share his own experience of the victories and challenges of returning to work at NC State following his injury. Please come prepared to share your thoughts and questions.
Discussion led by: Katie Stephens PT, NCS and Christy Eskridge (see attached image of her painting)
Come join us for a conversation on the benefit of return to leisure activities following injury. Christy Eskridge will share about her personal experience with Art Therapy and how painting has provided a new and positive outlet for her since her injury. Please come prepared to add to the discussion on how your own leisure activities have been helpful or challenging during your recovery.
Discussion led by: Ann Pearce PT, DPT
Join us for a conversation focused around the health aspects of Tai Chi and how it can benefit your balance and movement. Ann Pearce is a physical therapist on the STEPS For Recovery team who specializes in balance and vestibular dysfunction. She has the unique experience of being able to tailor Tai Chi movements to individuals with hemiplegia. Please join us for this fun and interactive introduction to the basic Tai Chi movement forms.
Bring your questions and ideas as we will shoot to have a 15 minute demonstration followed by time for discussion.
Please join us as Bryn Kennedy, DPT facilitates this Next STEP discussion where we will share valuable ideas on how to save energy, use technology and/or modify your environment to allow for more independence. Caregivers and family are welcome to join. Please bring your own ideas and tricks to share. In addition, if you have ideas for future Next STEP discussions, please email Bryn Kennedy at email@example.com
Presented By: Bryn Kennedy DPT. This month we will discuss the topic of "Return to Driving". We will have a panel discussion with several members of the community who have successfully returned to driving. We will discuss how to initiate the process, tips on when it the right time to seek medical drivers evaluation and vehicle adaptations which can help with driving.
We will also have an opportunity for you to share your ideas for future next step meetings.
Spouses and caregivers are welcome.
Join us for a member-lead discussion about returning to driving after disability. You will hear from some of our group members about their experiences, challenges and words of wisdom as they learned to drive, obtained adapted driving equipment and navigated the DMV system. We welcome anyone who has gone thru this process in any form or fashion to join us and share your experiences and offer advice to those thinking about or beginning the process of returning to driving. Here is a sample of questions we hope to answer...
Do you need to have a doctor's permission, prescription, clearance, etc to begin this process? If yes, does it matter from what doctor (neurologist, primary care, rehab doc, etc.)?
Walk through DMV process.
- Who did you contact to start the process?
- What paperwork was needed?
- In what order did things have to happen?
- Did you have to go into the DMV or are there things you can do online or over the phone?
- In what circumstances do you have to get special endorsement/restrictions on your license?
If you have a valid drivers license and you are physically able to drive your car, do you have to report your injury/illness or go thru any special channels to return to driving?
Which comes first...the DMV process or obtaining any needed equipment and getting trained?
- Would it make a difference if you still have a valid driver's license vs. one that is expired?
Who did you contact to get the equipment (hand controls)?
- What sorts of equipment is available?
- How did you know what you need?
- Did insurance cover the equipment?
- How long did it take to get the equipment and have it installed?
- Can adapted equipment be installed in any car or do you have buy a new car too?
- Did you get to try various types of hand controls or did the vendor only offer 1 option?
Have you had a formal driving evaluation?
- Was that thru the DMV or an independent person or both?
- How did you know who to contact?
- Did that person require any special documentation or permission (i.e. doctor's prescription)?
Do you have to let your car insurance company know about your disability or about your special equipment?
- Did it affect your insurance rates?
- What if you don't tell them? What is your liability if you get into an accident?
Driving with spasticity or pain - any suggestions for managing these symptoms?
What happens when you are driving by yourself and there is no handicap spot available?
- Or you have a van with a lift and when you get back to your car someone has parked next to you and you can't get the lift out? Or you can't open your door far enough to get your w/c in?
- Talk about other challenges/situations you have faced when driving. How did you overcome the issue?
Tell us a little bit about your personal story...why did you want to return to driving? How has it affected your life/independence? Was all the work worth it?
- Can you get them with hand controls from large rental companies and instructions on how to use universal controls?
- How to lock out accommodations that dont need.
If you have other questions for the group, please post them to the thread on our Facebook page or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the "Contact Us" link on the website.
Presented by: Jean Rowe, Hands on Health
Come explore a new way to stay active and find that mind/body balance. Instructor is able to provide modifications based on needs, to include those that will remain in seats or with limited movement abilities.
Presented by: Dr. Karla Thompson, UNC
Understanding how a change in abilities due to health, injury, or accident impacts our emotional state and how to help you and your caregivers adjust to a new normal.
Presented by: Elizabeth Penny, Wake Med Recreational Therapist and Scully (dog)
Come learn about Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) and the roles of Service/Therapy Animals. Visit CCI.org or email: email@example.com for more information
Presented by: Katie Stephens and Betsy Shah (STEPS for Recovery)
Medicare and Commercial Plans all come with a specific set of rules and regulations. Come hear important information about Medicare Therapy Benefits, Understanding Your Specific Commercial Plan and Common Questions
Presented by: Stacy Lingle, Owner of Nourishing Health
This will be a general discussion about proper nutrition for healing and wellness with some more specific information regarding food choices for managing blood sugar, especially in light of your body's new/different demands during the healing process and when exercising.
During this session we will have 3-4 individuals share their experiences with both national and international travel following their injuries and helpful tips on how to plan your travel.
Caregivers are welcome.