Aquacare goes beyond physical therapy

Terry RogersHeadlines, Health, Milford Headline Story

Aquacare offers more than physical therapy services

Cara Konlian, MSPT/CEO of Aquacare Physical Therapy is proud of the unique and different services available at their location. A female- and locally-owned physical therapy organization with five locations in Delaware, including in the Milford Wellness Village, offers a wide range of services designed for overall health.

“I think being locally owned is important to our community,” Konlian said. “In the healthcare market, so many practices are going to where they are owned by national corporations, hospitals or physician groups. We are probably one of the very few that are still owned by physical therapists and locally owned. We live in Sussex County; we work in Sussex County and we’re really here to serve the community.”

Aquacare has been part of the Milford Wellness Village since it was implemented several years ago and they continue to be part of the growth of the village. They also offer true one-on-one care with therapists that see about 9 or 10 patients a day compared to other therapists that see an average of 16 to 24 each day. Konlian explained that healthcare models are changing so that volume is more important than quality, but they strive to spend as much time as possible with patients and that no patient is just a number to them.

“Then the third thing that sets us apart is really the specialty programs that we offer where we really strive to offer specialty programs that are not offered by other outpatient physical therapy clinics. And one of those continues to be that we are the only physical therapy practice that specializes in women’s physical therapy,” Konlian said. “And that can include things like leakage of urine, pelvic pain, organ prolapse and pregnancy. One of the things that we’re excited about launching with our continued support of women is really targeting and working with individuals after pregnancy and in postpartum. It’s what is kind of becoming known as the fourth trimester of pregnancy. We kind of forget about the woman when they have a baby. We think, okay, they’re fine, but there are so many musculoskeletal issues that they still face after and so we’re really kind of advocating educating therapists or educating patients as well as physicians how important it is for people after they deliver, six weeks or eight weeks to see a pelvic floor/women’s health certified therapist in order to just to kind of go through what are some of the postpartum changes you’re experiencing.”

Some of those questions include asking how a therapist can impact that, how can a new mother be set up so they don’t have problems later on like with leakage of urine, how to manage low back pain, pelvic prolapse, and the many other things that happen while a new mother is still coping with delivery.

“They see their ob physician six weeks post- delivery and then typically nothing further. Our post-partum program we are advocating for in the Milford community,” Konlian said. “As our name suggests, we also  specialize in aquatic therapy. Other locations may offer aquatic therapy, but we are truly committed to that being very specialized in our care. We have a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club where we develop aquatic protocols that treat a variety of conditions like chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, arthritic changes, things that just may not be possible to treat in a land-based program.”

Konlian explained that Aquacare also offers programs for weight management as well as for Parkinson’s disease and dry needling. They offer a program for balance and vestibular issues as well. As a female-owned business, they continue to be advocates for all patients but especially women.

“Our Milford Lifestyle Fitness Center gym  is something that is not available at  our other sites, so we’re really proud to have it in our Milford location. In the three years since our opening, it’s taken on maybe a different dimension than we thought it would initially. We are promoting this as a safe place to exercise in which there are only a few participants versus the current volume in a large gym setting.  And so for patients like women or older patients that just want to feel the ability to work out in a safe place, particularly with COVID, because people are still having that fear, and then having access to the PTs who are there to just help them with developing their program,” Konlian said. “I would say most of our clients, 80% of our clients have an underlying, either physical condition or medical condition that may make them not feel safe to exercise in a larger or normal gym. And so that that’s really how this clinic has kind of come about as just being that place. Most of our gym members are past patients and they just want to continue in our setting with access to our physical therapists. Our volume continues to be very low. We also are now offering personal training. We have a personal trainer on staff that is offering exercises classes particularly geared toward females , weight loss and strength training.

Konlian stated that working with the Milford Wellness Village has been excellent and that the organizations located in the facility were truly like a village.

“What I like is that ability to kind of share our resources and our expertise Collaborating together with other tenants such as Banyan, Polaris Nursing Center and PACE has been very positive,” Konlian said. “It is our long range plan to consider collaborating with Milford Wellness Village have about putting in a pool on the campus which would benefit not only our organization but the community as a whole.

Anyone interested in learning more about Aquacare Physical Therapy can call them at 302-491-4196 or stop by their location at 21 West Clarke Avenue. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM until 6:00 PM and on Saturday from 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM.

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