Two new and improved Peer Mentor Programs running this fall!

Two Peer Mentor Programs will be run this fall. Each will have a different focus and format (see outlines below), although they share the goal of working on clinical reasoning and treatment skills with the goal of maximizing client function. See this blog post that includes an article published in PABC Directions on the Peer Mentor Program.

Both programs include a combination of patient demonstration/workshop and theoretical discussion. Related readings from peer-reviewed journals shall be assigned.
  • Program A will involve practical sessions
  • Program B will involve patient treatment sessions in pairs
  • The Participant:Instructor ratio is 8:1
  • Note: Each program is run as an individual entity. Therapists can sign up for A, B, or both! Program A is not a prerequisite for Program B.
Program A – Clinical Reasoning and Practical
  September 19th to October 17th (5 sessions, Wednesdays: 5:15-7:15 pm)
  • Led by Cathy Eustace (8 participants)
  • Theory/demos and practical
    • WEEK 1: Theoretical and Practical Introduction: Laying a foundation for the analysis of human movement
    • WEEK 2: Patient Demonstration and Discussion: The clinical reasoning underlying assessment and analysis of the patient.
    • WEEK 3:  Practical: Assessment and analysis
    • WEEK 4:  Practical: Treatment and handling focus
    • WEEK 5:  Practical: Treatment and handling focus
Program B – Patient Analysis and Treatment
  November 7th to December 5th (5 sessions, Wednesdays: 5:15-7:15 pm)
  • Led by Libby Swain (8 participants)
  • Theory/demos and working in pairs with 4 patients
    • WEEK 1: Demonstration Patient A (one of the 4 patients)
    • WEEK 2: Four Patients for assessment
    • WEEK 3: Workshop Patient B
    • WEEK 4: Four patients for treatment
    • WEEK 5: Workshop Patient C / Wrap up
  • Note: Participants may be able to bring one of their own patients for workshop/demonstration/joint treatment sessions.
Please note each Program is run as an individual entity. Therapists can therefore sign up for either session or both sessions. Session A is not a prerequisite for Session B.
Neuro-Ability Clinic located at 675 East 17th @ Fraser Street
Each program is $360.00
  • Current BC college registration as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist
  • For Program B only:
    • Current malpractice insurance (for treating patients during the program).
      • We are able to provide information on insurance to cover individuals for the course series if required.
  • Applications shall be accepted on a first come first served basis.
  • Please email Libby Swain at with the following information:
    • Your name, mailing address.
    • Name of work setting, type of clients you work with, reason for wishing to participate in mentorship program.
    • A scanned copy of your college registration.

and, for Program B only:

    • A scanned copy of your malpractice insurance or request for us to provide you with information to secure insurance for the program.
    • Please identify if you have a patient you would like to bring to the program for a workshop/demonstration/joint treatment sessions.
      • If you sign up without a patient, and enough participants would like paired treatment session/s, you will be allocated to a therapist who has a patient.


  • please mail cheque payable to Neuro-Ability to 675 East 17th Avenue, V5V 1B5
  • Please include a note indicating the cheque is payment for the Mentorship program and the specific session you are signing up for (Program A or B)

More information on the program is available at Also, check out this blog post that includes an article published in PABC Directions on the Peer Mentor Program.

PABC article on the Neuro-Ability Peer Mentor Program

Neuro-Ability began a Peer Mentor Program last spring and we’ve received a lot of great feedback on it. Libby and Cathy keep tweaking the design and the two programs that will be run this fall will provide two different angles on clinical reasoning and treatment skills with the goal of maximizing patient function.  For more information on the upcoming fall sessions, see the new blog post linked to here.

Here is an article by Jill Longhurst in the Summer 2012 PABC Directions publication about the May/June Peer Mentor Program that was facilitated by Libby Swain.

PABC Directions Banner

PABC Directions Peer Mentor Program Article

Peer Mentor Program Article by Jill Longhurst in Summer 2012 Directions

Mobility Aid: Electric Scooters

Sometimes it is worth saving your energy for when you get to the destination – rather than using it all up getting there. There are a lot of different types of electric scooters out there and I’m sure you’ve seen people using them.

Although we don’t recommend it or endorse it over any other companies models, one of our Neuro-Ability patients uses the somewhat amusingly named ‘GoPet’ electric scooter. ( It looks like a nice little unit that is available here in the Vancouver area ( It would obviously be worth looking into the other models available.

Perhaps you have your favourite? Have you used the GoPet? Have you used models from other companies? We’d love to have you share your opinions with other people who are perhaps in similar situations. Feel free to comment below or contact us to make a guest post here on our blog!

Caregiver Support Groups

Vancouver Coastal Health coordinates a number of support groups for people who are caregivers for family members or friends that are aging, ill, or living with a disability. It is so important to look after everyone involved – including the caregivers.

The support groups giver you people to talk with in similar situations, provide information about community resources, and a host of other things.

Check out or call them at 604-877-4699 or email them at . If you are not in the Vancouver area, they may be able to point you to groups close to where you live.

Tetra Society: Creating customized assistive devices for people with disabilities

We’re putting up a number of posts today with resources for the neuro community.

The Tetra Society was formed in Vancouver back in 1987 and has grown to have chapters across North America. Their focus is to create customized assistive devices for people with disabilities.

Check out their website for more information:

Customized, Small-Group Exercise-Yoga Classes for the Neuro Population

The next series of classes will run from October 9/11 to November 27/29.

The yoga-style classes are led by a physiotherapist and customized for people living with and rehabbing from neurological conditions and injuries. The courses provide personalized instruction and exercise adaptation in a fun, social, small-group setting.  For more on the October-November 2012 course sign-ups, see Neuro-Ability Exercise Classes and contact

Note that for those who haven’t taken the classes before there is a mandatory individual assessment. The goal is to ensure the participant is placed in the appropriate class. This 1-hour session can be booked for Sept 25/27 or October 2/4 from 5-7pm.

You may also be interested in taking a look at an earlier post about a Neuro-Ability clinician’s (Anne Harris) invited article in the PABC Directions journal on those living with and rehabbing from neurological conditions using Yoga and Pilates.

Shoes that stay on your feet.

[A post by guest blogger: Harriet!]

To all the ladies at Neuro Ability. It has been a struggle for me to find pretty shoes that stay on my feet! At 22 I still adore shoes and although my days of high heels are over, should I have to compromise on style for comfort? NO! My Mum (Dawn) and I have been on the hunt for nice shoes that I like, I can walk in and stay on my feet!! I have had to reevaluate my thoughts on footware, pretty shoes that stay on my feet are expensive! So my compromise is not to buy so many pairs of shoes!

Below are links to the pretty sandals I bought.

It is a European web site, the pictures were nicer, but Rieker Shoes are available in many “good” shoe shops. I bought mine at Turner Echo Shoes in South Surrey, 604-535 5119. There were many different designs all very easy to put on and stay on your feet. A couple of very good things about these shoes is that there are no buckles or laces, they have elastic straps and the soles of Rieker shoes are very cushioned, so if like me you have corns, because you don’t land on your feet correctly, it feels like you are walking on air, heaven!


I’d love to hear from any of you who have any more leads on pretty shoes that stay on your feet!
– Harriet

[Thanks Harriet! This post and other ‘Insider Tips’ from the community will be grouped on the Tips & Resources link.]

Research on yoga and stroke rehabilitation

Our yoga and Pilates classes/sessions have become very popular and we plan to expand them in the future. Last year, one of our physios, Anne Harris, was invited to write an article that discussed using Yoga and Pilates with those living with and rehabbing from neurological conditions. The article was published in the current issue of Directions, the quarterly journal of the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia. [Download the pdf file with this link]

One of the articles that Anne referenced in her article was a recent research paper by Garrett, Immink, and Hillier: Becoming connected: the lived experience of yoga participation after stroke (Disability and Rehabilitation, 2011; 22(25-26): 2404-2415). You can find the paper there, but the abstract is:

Purpose. To investigate the personal experiences and perceived outcomes of a yoga programme for stroke survivors.

Method. This article reports on a preliminary study using qualitative methods to investigate the personal experiences and perceived outcomes of a yoga programme. Nine individuals who had experienced stroke were interviewed following a 10-week yoga programme involving movement, breathing and meditation practices. An interpretative phenomenological approach was used to determine meanings attached to yoga participation as well as perceptions of outcomes.

Results. Interpretative themes evolving from the data were organised around a bio-psychosocial model of health benefits from yoga. Emergent themes from the analysis included: greater sensation; feeling calmer and becoming connected. These themes respectively revealed perceived physical improvements in terms of strength, range of movement or walking ability, an improved sense of calmness and the possibility for reconnecting and accepting a different body.

Conclusion. The study has generated original findings that suggest that from the perspective of people who have had a stroke yoga participation can provide a number of meaningful physical, psychological and social benefits and support the rationale for incorporating yoga and meditation-based practices into rehabilitation programmes.

If you are interested in our unique yoga/neuro-rehab courses offered here at Neuro-Ability, please take a look here at the Neuro-Ability Small-Group Exercise Course Link. Our next sessions will start up again in the fall. Feel free to email Anne Harris:

Full-time and Part-time Physios required at Neuro-Ability in Vancouver!

As the clinic grows, we again have opportunities for both full and part-time physios to join us at Neuro-Ability. We are committed to education, learning, and the advancement of clinical practice. Our clinic is a friendly and often exciting place where we work together, learn from each other, and where everyone on the team contributes their own skills, experience, and perspectives. For more information on Neuro-Ability, please see

If you are passionate about neuro-rehab, please contact us to learn more about the opportunties. You can send your resume to Libby Swain email: