Life Care Centers of America
Heidi Pino

COVID-19 left Dan Kuchta, a resident at Life Care Center of Elkhorn, Nebraska, extremely weak, complicating his Parkinson’s disease.

The rehab team, who were already working with Dan before he acquired coronavirus, knew they could help him recover strength and function. He needed total assistance for all his mobility and activities of daily living. He was very confused and had difficulty swallowing, so he was on a pureed diet and ended up losing 30 pounds.

Therapists in all three therapy disciplines are working with Dan. They are using Parkinson’s techniques with a focus on high-amplitude stepping, balance strategies, coordination strategies and dysphagia (swallowing) and voice treatment.

Now, Dan is at a supervision level for walking, bed mobility, transfers, sitting and standing balance, hygiene, self-feeding, swallowing and receptive language. He needs minimal assistance with expressive language and moderate assistance with bathing, voice and cognition.

“Dan is now on a regular diet and has gained the healthy weight back,” said Michelle Strecker, director of rehab services. “He is able to recall and use safe swallow strategies and follow cues from staff.”

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