Life Care Centers of America
Heidi Pino

Stella Nichols is 102 and has chosen Life Care Center of Wichita, Kansas, twice for her rehabilitation.

Most recently, Stella came to the skilled nursing and rehab center after falling at home due to low blood pressure. When she arrived on April 21, 2020, she needed extensive assistance with hygiene, bathing and dressing and moderate assistance with walking, standing, bed mobility, cognition and transfers from one surface to another. She needed a little help with sitting balance, feeding herself and swallowing.

In addition to leading Stella in traditional strengthening exercises, physical therapists brought special equipment, such as a foam mat and tilt board, to her room to challenge her balance and reduce her fall risk.

Occupational therapists worked with Stella’s activity endurance by having her perform a cognitive and motor task at the same time, such as naming animals from A-Z while performing reaching activities.

And speech therapy addressed Stella’s ability to problem solve, as well as her swallowing function.

“They helped me get my strength back,” said Stella. “They helped me regain some independence. I was weak from being in the hospital, and therapy helped bring me out of it. I made some friends who helped me stay positive.”

Stella returned home on June 4. She is now independent in self-feeding and sitting balance. She is at a supervision level for the rest of her mobility and most of her activities of daily living, and she is swallowing better and thinking more clearly.

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