This evening our guest speaker was Tomeico Faison. Tomeico is an Occupational Therapist who started Therapeutic Solutions 13 years ago. She is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and started her career working in a hospital, then at Dorothea Dix and decided to open her own business and has expanded from there.
Occupational Therapy involves assisting people with normal day to day activities such as bathing, grooming, paying bills, cooking, shopping, and such. It also includes any activity that a person might have difficulty doing that brings meaning or joy to their life. One specialization is assisting people deal with living with low vision.
The story of how she got started with low vision therapy is quite interesting. She was referred to a patient who had been diagnosed as psychotic. She started by helping her organize her medicines. When she was working with the patient she recognized that she was having difficulty reading the bottles. So she wondered if this was the root cause for the patient not taking their medicines. And, if that could be the reason for the psychotic diagnosis. It turned out that she was right. The patient had diabetic retinopathy causing her to have “low vision” and that manifested itself in psychotic behavior. That experience prompted Tomeico to get a certification in Low Vision Rehabilitation from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and expand her practice again.
Therapeutic Solutions specializes in providing occupational therapy staff and services both to various health care facilities and agencies and directly to consumers in need in the Triangle region. With a team of over ten fully credentialed, diversified and experienced therapists, Therapeutic Solutions has a longstanding reputation for service provision in mental health settings and is the only provider of specialized in-home low vision occupational therapy services in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area.
When a new patient is referred they visit in home to do an assessment. This first meeting takes approximately three hours and includes assessing the persons daily routine, metering the lighting, checking for trip and fall risks and hazards, and other assessments. After treatment another assessment is made to verify progress. From there more visits may be necessary depending on the situation. The average is about 10 weeks of treatments for two hours each week.
Often times they recommend things like magnifiers, telescopic glasses, or devices to help a person know when a cup of liquic is almost full. These devices are not typically covered by insurance, though. So they have started a non-profit to help raise money to help people that have needs but cannot afford to buy these items.
We also had the opportunity to present (now Lion) Amanda Lunn with a check for $4500 from our Fish Fry proceeds to help her family purchase a new prosthetic eye for her daughter Amber. See our previous article for the full story. We are proud to be able to help the Lunn family!