Hal Hess and his wife, Pam, recently experienced the power of rehabilitation.
Hal’s dementia was progressing, and he developed an infection that led to a hospital stay. When he got out of the hospital, he went to live in an assisted living facility to receive help with his care.
However, Pam noticed that he did not get out of bed, which was a big change from his level of activity at home, where he used to walk with a walker. Seeing the drastic change, she decided to tour Bridgeview Estates in Twin Falls, Idaho, to check out the skilled nursing and rehab center and see if the team there could help her husband.
Hal came to Bridgeview Estates in November 2019, and Pam moved into an independent living apartment on the same campus, so she could be nearby.
Physical, occupational and speech therapists worked with Hal to improve his ability to get in and out of bed, stand up, balance, walk, complete self-care tasks and improve his memory.
At first, Hal was fearful of falling, and his body was rigid. He could not get out of bed, even with help, so therapists stared working with him even in bed.
Therapy progressed daily, and Hal was able to stand for the first time with the help of the LiteGait® machine on Dec. 12. The LiteGait is a piece of therapy equipment with a harness that helps relieve some of the patient’s weight and assists them with standing and walking.
On Christmas Eve, Hal walked again for the first time without the LiteGait, and a month later, on Jan. 30, he went to live with his wife in her apartment.
Hal can now get in and out of bed, stand up, balance, complete self-care, walk with a walker and recall some events with help. He still takes part in outpatient therapy at Bridgeview to maintain his level of function as much as possible. Therapists also help educate his wife and other family members on how to help him do so.
Reflecting on Hal’s therapy experience, Pam shared, “I am so impressed with his progress. He went from bedbound to walking. Walking was always his thing; he would walk every day up until his hospitalization. The therapy team helped to get my sweetheart back!”