'Birdhouse Therapy' helps stroke victims

Essie DeBerry constructs a birdhouse. / Jessica Fairley

With the help of an on-site carpenter, recreational therapists at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital have come up with a new way to help stroke victims.

Rehab unit patients are creating birdhouses as a part of their recovery therapy.

The plywood sections are pre-cut by carpenter Howard Kimbrell, then transferred to the trainers where they are assemble by stroke patients.

Therapists say nailing and gluing the structures together helps strengthen the patients' muscles and improve mobility.

One of the programs participants says it's restored her confidence and now she's advising others to stay strong.

"Believe in yourself you can do anything that you put your mind to. That's the advice that I would give to anybody that has had a stroke," said Essie DeBerry.

Other programs used to help stroke patients recover include chair yoga and other relaxation techniques.