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Success Story: Dorothy

Dorothy*, 91, arrived at The Gardens at Tunkhannock suffering from acute respiratory failure and acute intestinal obstruction. She had impaired cognition, trouble swallowing and generalized weakness. In addition, Dorothy was trouble keeping her balance which caused a decrease in her overall function and mobility.

Working with Dorothy, our physical, occupational and speech therapy teams developed a tailored rehabilitation plan with strategic objectives – our goal was to help Dorothy regain her independence so she could return home safely.

Dorothy’s can-do attitude amazed us all! Each day, she faced her challenges with fierce determination. In time, Dorothy’s impaired cognition showed significant improvement and she resumed her prior functional level of alertness and was now qualified to make her own decisions. Dorothy also achieved independence in swallowing regular consistency foods and thin liquids. Dorothy was taught to utilize external memory aids (such as logging upcoming appointments and having a notepad readily accessible to write things down) to recall detailed information accurately once she has returned home.

In addition, Dorothy achieved independence in performing activities of daily living (ADL), including, hygiene, grooming, bathing and toileting as well as cooking with adaptive devices. Upon discharge, she achieved the ability to walk up to 500 feet with a rolling walker independently, independent for all transfers, and up and down 10 steps with one handrail and supervision. She was able to retrieve items from high and low surfaces and was issued a home exercise program to preserve her strength upon leaving the facility.

Dorothy dreamed of returning home – together we made that dream a reality!

*name changed to protect resident’s identity.

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