Left to right: Sandra Sloan, occupational therapist; Daisy Richardson; Bottney Wilson, physical therapist assistant; and Jennifer Crawford, OT

After having a stroke, Daisy Richardson came to Life Care Center of Elizabethton, Tennessee, for rehabilitation.


When she arrived at the facility on Aug. 23, Richardson needed assistance with all of her mobility tasks, from sitting balance to walking, as well as most of her activities of daily living, including grooming, bathing and getting dressed. She had difficulty speaking and swallowing as well and was on a pureed food diet with honey-thick liquids.


Richardson took part in speech, physical and occupational therapies with a goal of returning home to her family.


Speech therapists worked with Richardson on her speech and swallowing and was able to advance her to a mechanical soft diet (such as ground meats, eggs and soft, cooked vegetables) with nectar-thick liquids.


The physical therapy team trained Richardson in strength and balance. She used the OmniCycle® and NuStep® exercise machines in addition to doing manual exercises. As she progressed, she was able to walk with a walker with someone standing beside her to steady her.


Occupational therapists helped her relearn the skills she would need for self-care at home with her family’s assistance. She was able to regain her independence in grooming, self-feeding and getting dressed and only needed supervision with bathing when she completed her rehab.


“Everyone has been so good to me,” Richardson said. “I loved all the staff, and therapy really made me strong. I am glad to be going home, but I will visit again.”


Richardson went home with her son on Sept. 12, and the family was happy with her progress and felt confident in being able to assist with her care as needed.