Life Care Centers of America
Heidi Pino

It’s rare for a parent and child to take part in rehabilitation at the same time, but Life Care Center of Columbia, Tennessee, was recently honored to care for a mother and son.

Sonia Nichols came to the facility on April 1, 2020, for help with her congestive heart failure. She was experiencing shortness of breath and decreased functional status. She needed help with transfers, such as getting in and out of bed, walking, dressing and bathing. Physical, occupational and speech therapists started working with her to help her get well enough to go home.

Terry Nichols, Sonia’s son, arrived two days later for therapy. He was fighting off cellulitis (a skin infection) and sores caused by a rare autoimmune disease called bullous pemphigoid, in addition to peripheral vascular disease and diabetes. Like his mother, he needed help walking, transferring and getting dressed. He participated in physical and occupational therapies.

Both of them took part in therapy five days a week, working on self-care activities and functional mobility.

“Sonia was very pleasant and cooperative and hard-working,” said Joanne Tan, physical therapist.

Angie Salvucci, occupational therapist added, “Terry was always ready to participate in therapy sessions – he was motivated, pleasant and kind.”

The Nichols both went home on April 20 with modified independence.

“I can get up better now and walk more,” said Terry. “I’m not as weak as I was. Everybody has been good to me.”

Sonia shared, “Therapy helped me walk a lot better and gave me more confidence.”

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