When Barbara Johnson came to Wooldridge Place Nursing Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Jan. 27, 2016, the left side of her body and right side of her brain had been impacted by a stroke.
She couldn’t walk on her own or take care of herself, and her lack of awareness of her surroundings was risky for her.
Physical, occupational and speech therapists met with Johnson five days a week to help her recover her physical and mental abilities and go home.
Martha Ortegon, speech therapist, worked with Johnson on recovering her cognitive skills. Johnson had trouble reading, writing, doing mathematical calculations and problem solving. Knowing that Johnson was a younger patient, Ortegon helped her use her phone as an assistive device to set calendar reminders and alarms for medication. She also used a memory book to help Johnson recall events and processes.
Physical therapists worked with Johnson on relearning to walk, and one of the tools they used was the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill®. The AlterG looks like a regular treadmill with a bubble-like enclosure from the waist down, which the user zips up to create a reduced-gravity environment. The machine provided Johnson with an environment in which she could focus on her gait without worrying about falling.
PTs also did balance training with Johnson as she regained strength and range of motion.
Occupational therapists worked with Johnson on relearning her daily self-care tasks, like bathing, dressing and grooming. They taught her strategies to compensate for her remaining weakness.
On Feb. 17, Johnson returned home, able to get around with a rolling walker and able to take care of her self-care tasks on her own. Her memory and cognitive skills were much improved, and she was able to return to work.
“They helped me regain my sense of independence,” Johnson said about her care team. “They were optimistic for the future. They were phenomenal in every department and erased every stereotype of nursing homes. The staff is genuine, and all my needs were met.”
Johnson has since returned as an outpatient and is working on regaining even more independence.