Regaining independence with rehab therapy

After a year of rehabilitation therapy, Ruth Rann made impressive progress.

Before moving to Good Samaritan Society – Le Mars, Ruth was hospitalized after some epileptic seizures. At the center, she did rehab therapy but then had some setbacks.

Rebecca Ahrendsen, the therapy supervisor at Good Samaritan Society – Le Mars, remembers Ruth needing total care. She couldn’t feed herself or hold a seated position.

“I was in really bad shape,” says Ruth. “I couldn’t walk and my hands were kind of crippled up and my arms and shoulders hurt. They thought I was going to die.”

No one, including Ruth, expected to see any improvement. But as doctors adjusted her medications, something began to change.

“She started to show a little perkiness,” says Rebecca. “I spoke with her and asked if she would be interested in rehab again. So, she came off hospice care and we started working with her.”

Improvement with movement

With rehab therapy, Ruth’s health quickly improved. She used machines to strengthen her arms and therapeutic putty and hot packs to improve her hand and finger movement. She also utilized Short Wave Diathermy for pain relief. The therapy team worked with Ruth on leg strengthening and transfers. Then she started riding an exercise bike.

Eventually, Ruth could even use the manual stand aid with staff assisting her. It allows her to transfer to and from her wheelchair.

“People that knew me when I first came here can’t believe it. It’s a miracle,” she says. “I’ve come a long, long way because of the therapy department.”

Now Ruth loves her daily hour-long rides on the exercise bike. She stays strong by wheeling herself around, doing leg and arm exercises, and using therapeutic putty.

“I never want to go back to the way that I was, so I do my best to keep my strength up,” states Ruth.

Changing lives for the good

In addition to providing inpatient rehab therapy, Rebecca and her team also offer outpatient rehab therapy to those in the community. If someone can’t drive to the center, they go to them.

Their services include physical, occupational and speech therapy for all ages. They work with people who have had brain injuries, joint replacements, strokes and heart attacks.

“They’re experts in helping people meet their goals,” says Rob Gotto, administrator at Good Samaritan Society – Le Mars. “I think the joy our therapy team brings to the job and their sincere belief that what we do is for the betterment of people we serve helps patients succeed.”

Rebecca loves the community feel in Le Mars and finds fulfillment in getting to know her patients.

“I used to work as a personal trainer and I see bigger gains in this setting,” she states. “They work so hard.”

Ruth’s determination was a key factor in her success, and now she’s gained the freedom she hoped for.

“She can take care of herself more and tell us what her needs are,” says Rebecca. “She made huge progress.”

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