Sunday, February 25, 2018

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On September 22, 2017, Sheltering Arms, along with the National Council on Aging (NCOA), will recognize the 10th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day on the first day of fall.

Most falls can be avoided. Adults accept dizziness, vertigo, and unsteady balance as a consequence of age. Those symptoms are often a sign of a vestibular/inner ear problem which impacts balance and can lead to unsteadiness or a fall.

“Falling is not a normal part of aging and it is the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries. These balance issues can affect people of all ages. Every adult has the power to prevent a fall with a few simple tests,” said Preeti Verma, MS, PT. Ms.

Verma is certified in vestibular rehabilitation through the American Physical Therapy Association. She is one of the principal therapists involved in the development and implementation of the vestibular disorders program and in the writing of the clinical practice guidelines for treatment of vestibular disorders at Sheltering Arms.

“Many adults go undiagnosed or see several doctors over a period of years before the root cause of the balance issue is identified,” added Verma.

The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process sensory information involved with balance. A balance disorder is a condition that makes an individual feel unsteady or dizzy. Whether standing, sitting, or lying down, there is a feeling of movement such as spinning (vertigo) or floating.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury with more than 27,000 fall deaths in older adults each year.
  • The total cost of fall injuries was $31 billion in 2014. As the population ages, this figure may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.
  • Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including more than 800,000 hospitalizations and 27,000 deaths.
  • One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Balance is an integral part of daily life, and one that most people take for granted. Sheltering Arms and the NCOA stand together to prevent falls. For more information about the Sheltering Arms balance and vestibular program, go to

About Sheltering Arms
Sheltering Arms helps patients find the Power to Overcome the obstacles of illness and injury with a complete range of physical rehabilitation and wellness services. To learn more about Sheltering Arms’ two hospitals and eleven outpatient centers, visit, call 1-877-56-REHAB, or connect with Sheltering Arms on Facebook (/ShelteringArms), Twitter (@SheltArmsRehab), YouTube (/ShelteringArmsRVA), or LinkedIn.

About NCOA
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at and @NCOAging.

Sheltering Arms announced they are the first hospital in Virginia to obtain the Erigo®Pro robotic device to improve mobilization and verticalization of patients with circulatory, neurological or musculoskeletal conditions.

This therapy solution combines gradual verticalization, leg mobilization, and intensive sensorimotor stimulation through cyclic leg loading. It counteracts the negative effects of immobility and accelerates the recovery process.

“Prolonged bed rest due to stroke, traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury can cause adverse effects such as cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal deconditioning and other medical complications. Early mobilization not only supports the functional recovery of patients, but it produces better outcomes and reduces the number of days in rehab so a patient can get home sooner,” said Timothy Silver, M.D., Sheltering Arms Hospital Medical Director.

The ErigoPro, manufactured by Hocoma, relies on functional electrical stimulation (FES) for targeted leg muscle activation. Adhering electrodes to the skin, nerve endings are stimulated with electricity causing the contraction and activation of muscles. Together with cyclic movement training, FES efficiently supports the increase of blood flow in the patient’s lower extremities and improves the cerebral blood flow and lower body muscle strength leading to improved restoration of function.

At Sheltering Arms, the ErigoPro will be used in conjunction with a portfolio of other advanced technology to achieve optimal recovery.

“We are committed to finding the best medical advances to help give our patients the tools to overcome setbacks from illness and injury,” said Mary Zweifel, CEO of Sheltering Arms. “Adding the ErigoPro to our array of therapeutic solutions will help us to treat patients even earlier in their recovery.”

The ErigoPro will be available to patients at Sheltering Arms Hospital in Midlothian, Virginia.

Resources Video:  

About Sheltering Arms
Sheltering Arms helps patients find the Power to Overcome the obstacles of illness and injury with a complete range of physical rehabilitation and wellness services. To learn more about Sheltering Arms’ two hospitals and eleven outpatient centers, visit, call 1-877-56-REHAB, or connect with Sheltering Arms on Facebook (/ShelteringArms), Twitter (@SheltArmsRehab), YouTube (/ShelteringArmsRVA), or LinkedIn.

About Hocoma
Hocoma is a Swiss manufacturer of robotic and sensor-based rehabilitation solutions. To learn more about Erigo®, visit


Taylor Roberts was a 20-year-old college sophomore when her life was changed in the twisted metal of a devastating car crash. Three miles from her family’s home, the Virginia Commonwealth University student was hit by a man who ran a stop sign. He plowed into her car, which flipped before crashing head-on into a telephone pole.

Sheltering Arms Hospital and VCU Health System announced today that the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Marissa Levine, has approved Sheltering Arms Rehab Institute’s application for a certificate of public need to build a new 114-bed rehabilitation hospital through the relocation of inpatient rehabilitation beds from VCU Health System, Sheltering Arms Hospital in Hanover and Sheltering Arms Hospital in Midlothian.

The joint venture combines inpatient beds from both organizations to create a multimillion dollar state-of-the-art destination hospital focused on caring for individuals who have survived strokes, spinal cord injuries or brain injuries, as well as those in need of general rehabilitation or various neurological diseases and disorders. Sheltering Arms Rehab Institute will be located on a 25-acre site in the West Creek Medical Park off Broad Street Road, just east of the state Route 288 interchange.

“In the new hospital, we’re bringing together advanced technology, research, and evidenced-based clinical care, in a spacious, green setting that will facilitate our joint goal of enhanced outcomes for our patients,” said Mary Zweifel, CEO of Sheltering Arms.

VCU Health System and Sheltering Arms Hospital are the oversight and decision-making body of the Sheltering Arms Rehab Institute’s board of managers. This leadership group’s next steps will be to review and approve design and operational plans for a proposed fall 2020 opening.

Bringing together the brand and clinical reputation of Sheltering Arms and the nationally-ranked programs of the VCU Health System will make physical rehabilitative care in Virginia among the nation’s best. “This joint venture will simultaneously advance research and clinical training to provide unparalleled quality of care for rehabilitation hospital patients,” said Deborah Davis, CEO of VCU Hospitals and Clinics. Sheltering Arms has two hospitals and 11 outpatient centers, as well as community-based programs that include recreational therapy and fitness.

VCU Health System treats patients at several area locations, including its facilities at the VCU Medical Center in downtown Richmond, at Stony Point and at the VCU Sports Medicine Clinic adjacent to the Siegel Center. All outpatient services will operate separately for now and into the foreseeable future. ###