Life Care Centers of America
Heidi Pino

Life Care Center of Banner Elk, North Carolina, recently had the privilege to help a husband and wife achieve their rehabilitation goals.

Donna Norwood came to the facility on Feb. 11, 2020, after falling at home and fracturing her ankle. When she arrived, she was unable to bear weight on that leg. She was unable to walk, transfer from one surface to another or take care of herself.

Six days a week, physical therapy worked with Donna to get her legs stronger for transfers. Therapists provided instruction in how to move in bed better and sit up in bed. The occupational therapy team assisted her with arm strength and her activities of daily living. They taught her to use adaptive devices for getting dressed. 

Donna’s husband, Ernest, had been helping her at home before the fall, although he had his own health concerns. While Donna was at Life Care Center of Banner Elk, Ernest had a decline and was placed in the hospital with an infection in his pacemaker, which needed to be removed. He was admitted to the facility on Feb. 21.

The Norwoods were able to share a room and encourage each other.

The facility team helped Ernest with his medical needs in addition to physical and occupational therapy, and he was able to get rid of the infection in his bloodstream. Therapy made him stronger and helped him go from needing assistance with mobility and self-care to being independent or only needing supervision for those tasks. He is currently using a rollator walker.

Donna is also walking again with a walker, since her physician cleared her to place weight on her leg again. She needs minimal help with bathing.

“I can also transfer from a bed to a wheelchair by myself,” she said proudly.

Associates at the facility have not only helped the Norwoods get ready to go home by improving their health outlooks. During the couple’s stay, their home sustained an electrical fire in the kitchen, and the occupational therapy team organized a drive to replace their kitchen items.

The couple left the facility together on May 1 with a lot of new kitchen items, and a strong spirit!          

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