When Juana De Dios Garcia fractured her right femur and right humerus in a fall, it took the right team to get her back on her feet.
She came to Life Care Center of Estero, Florida, for rehabilitation, unable to bear weight on her right arm. She needed total assistance with activities of daily living, such as grooming, bathing and dressing. She needed extensive assistance with most of her mobility tasks, including walking, bed mobility, getting in and out of bed, wheelchair mobility and standing balance. She needed moderate assistance with sitting balance as well.
Since Juana speaks only Spanish, the facility met her communication needs by pairing her with associates who speak her native language.
Juana took part in physical therapy sessions six days a week and occupational therapy sessions five days a week. The therapists used the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill™ in her recovery. The machine is like a normal treadmill but with an enclosed space from the hips down that is zipped up to create a reduced-gravity environment. For Juana, it helped her practice her gait while relieving most of the weight on her recovering leg.
Therapists also used shortwave diathermy treatments to promote healing in her arm and to decrease the swelling in her arm.
“Juana was highly motivated to participate in therapy,” said Todd Smith, physical therapist and assistant director of rehab. “She has strong family support from her daughter and became more confident over the course of her treatment. It was a pleasure practicing my Spanish and helping her reach her goals.”
Juana was able to go home with her daughter. She is independent in her bed mobility, getting in and out of bed, sitting balance, grooming and self-feeding and able to take care of herself while her daughter is away during the day. She is at a modified independence level for bathing and dressing and at a supervision level for walking and standing.
“Therapy helped me very much with walking with a cane inside and outside, getting in and out of a car, getting dressed and putting on my shoes,” Juana said (in translation). “I have so much respect for my therapists. They are excellent. The best thing was learning to walk with a cane and starting to move my arms again.”