“St. Mary ” day center in Cluj-Napoca ran by APAHNP, a non-governmental organization provides daily, from Monday to Friday, 8.00-4.00 am, social service, for 22 clients with learning disabilities. Through activities and therapies developed in Day Center “St. Mary” we mention training in functional self help and daily living skills, task learning skills which improve motor and perceptual skills, community integration, awareness, safety skills, work and work environment skills , social and interpersonal skills, music as therapy, drama as therapy, physiotherapy. They are aimed to enhance their future independent living and social integration. Besides these activities in the past few months, most clients of this center have begun to use the MIRA platform, transforming physical activity into a unique experience which they have received with great enthusiasm and curiosity.
Of these, two clients were noted, B.A. 35 years old, diagnosed with Down syndrome and P.A. 28 years old, diagnosed with early encephalitis. B.A, diagnosed with Down syndrome, is a very active person, loving/enjoying music, dance and drama activities, being for several years one of the participants in Special Olympics Competitions. She attends the physiotherapy program twice a the week, followed by MIRA for 10-15 minutes. During MIRA’s therapy, B.A was very perceptive from the first session because the game succeed to capture all her attention. After just a month the client was able to positioned herself correctly in front of the kinect and keep saying that she wants to “catch all of them” (Catch game). On this platform there are other games she enjoyed, like the Submarine game , followed by Izzy the Bee, Animals, Move and Follow.
Also, P.A. diagnosed with early encephalitis attend physiotherapy and medical massage sessions witch led to the following outcomes/results: reeducation of walking, increasing muscle strength, increasing coordination, toning of para-vertebral and abdominal muscles and vocabulary/speech improvement. Twice a week, after her physiotherapy program, she performs for 5-10 minutes on the MIRA platform, her favorite games being Catch, Animals and Follow.
P.A. likes to use MIRA because she says : “It’s too easy to catch butterflies and eat cakes all day long” (in the Catch game, containing these themes), and beyond that, she performed the moves in a more fun way and enhanced her motor skill and physical abilities. However, the MIRA program would help some of the day center clients to achieve better outcomes by motivating them to do their exercises in a more entertaining and easy way.
About the author
My name is Moale Andreea-Gabriela, I graduated at Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, being licensed in physiokinetotherapy. At the moment, I following the master program “Techniques and methods of rehabilitation of patients with rheumatological diseases ” to acquire knowledge and necessary skills to achieve rehabilitation programs appropriate to each type of rheumatologic pathology.
Exploring MIRA’s use in a day-centre
Although designed for physiotherapy and rehabilitation institutions, MIRA’s reach can be extended. Having the opportunity to explore several day centres, such as this one, providing an integrated social/health care and education for children, young adults with disabilities or older people with long-terms conditions, we discover a potential beyond the initial scope. These centres often run as charities and are unable to afford a large number of specialized therapists and clinicians to respond to the variety of needs (which are often diverse) for their beneficiaries. We are pleased that MIRA has the potential to supplement this up from a certain perspective, by providing an easy to use clinically proven device for physical and cognitive rehabilitation which is able to create a fun and pleasant experience, improving the lives of those who have the right to medical care, education and social integration, but also to laughter and joy.