Life Care Centers of America
Heidi Pino

Life Care Center of St. Louis, long-term resident Charles Cantrell recently benefitted from the facility’s pulmonary hygiene program.

Charles has a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease but had been independent in his self-care and mobility at the facility before the pandemic. Although he never contracted COVID-19, the isolation precautions he had to observe led to decreased physical activity. In turn, he began to decline in function and had increased shortness of breath.

On May 1, 2020, Charles started the pulmonary hygiene program at the facility to recondition his lungs and overall strength and function.

“I wasn’t sure the exercises would help me, but after using the incentive spirometer exercises, I don’t have to wear oxygen anymore during the day, and I don’t get short of breath anymore,” Charles said.

Charles discharged from physical therapy on June 12 and from occupational therapy on July 3. He is celebrating his independence as he can take care of his own walking and transfers now and only needs some supervision with some of his self-care skills.

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