OMNI residents improving their quality of life through physiotherapy programs

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Recent success stories showcase the value physiotherapy brings to long-term-care home residents

One of the ways OMNI Health Care long-term care homes enhance quality of life for residents is through the physiotherapy programs they offer.

In recent weeks, The OMNIway has shared several stories about residents who have made significant improvement in their quality of life through the physiotherapy programs offered in the homes – many of these people have gone from requiring a wheelchair to being able to walk independently with a walker.

Noreen Chandler, Springdale Country Manor

Springdale Country Manor resident Noreen Chandler (left) and physiotherapy assistant Laura Pammett are seen here in the Peterborough County long-term care home’s garden.

Springdale Country Manor resident Noreen Chandler (left) and physiotherapy assistant Laura Pammett are seen here in the Peterborough County long-term care home’s garden.

Before suffering a fall on Aug. 13, Springdale Country Manor resident Noreen Chandler only needed a walker for mobility. However, after her fall she needed a wheelchair and could only walk when assisted by two people. She was also “in a lot of pain,” she told The OMNIway in October.

But Noreen, an avid gardener who helps care for flowers and plants in the home’s yard, was determined to improve her mobility so she could get back to doing the things she loves.

Working with physiotherapy assistant Laura Pammett, Noreen practised exercises to strengthen her muscles and reduce swelling. These included toe-touches and stretches she could do in bed. Noreen followed Laura’s advice, and by mid-September she was back to only requiring her walker for mobility.

By October, after two months of physiotherapy, Noreen was back to tending the home’s garden.

“I am feeling back to normal now,” she said.

Kellie MacDonald, Riverview Manor

Riverview Manor resident Kellie MacDonald (right) is seen here with physiotherapy assistant Jody Harris. Kellie has improved her mobility through the Peterborough long-term care home’s physiotherapy program. Her goal is to improve her strength to the point that she can once again walk and live independently.

Riverview Manor resident Kellie MacDonald (right) is seen here with physiotherapy assistant Jody Harris. Kellie has improved her mobility through the Peterborough long-term care home’s physiotherapy program. Her goal is to improve her strength to the point that she can once again walk and live independently.

Kellie MacDonald moved into Riverview Manor in 2014 after suffering a stroke that left her unable to walk. But she was determined to improve her mobility. By diligently working with physiotherapy assistant Jody Harris and the rest of the physio team, she has come a long way.

“I came in here and didn’t walk for a long time,” Kellie told The OMNIway in October. “I went through physio, and I got strengthening exercises and I did those three times a week with Jody and regained a lot of strength in my legs, so now I am able to stand again, which is a start.”

For about five months Kellie used a Thera-Band, a tube made of resistive rubber that people can wrap around their limbs to stretch and enhance muscles, to build strength in her calves and thighs. These exercises bolstered her strength to the point she could stand.

First, Kellie did these exercises while lying in bed with a low-resistance Thera-Band, then progressed to a Thera-Band with more resistance. For the past two months, Kellie has been able to do her exercises from a sitting position.

Kellie’s strength has now returned to the point where she can stand in 30-second increments from her wheelchair using parallel bars, then sit down again.

“That was a big success,” Jody said.

In November, 93-year-old Frost Manor resident Lillian Hawery told The OMNIway her quality of life had improved “100 per cent” since she moving into the Lindsay long-term care home in February.

Lillian Hawery, Frost Manor

From left to right, Frost Manor residents Lorraine Kingdon, Lillian Hawery and Joy Dobson pose for a photo. These three ladies have had great success in the home’s physiotherapy program.

From left to right, Frost Manor residents Lorraine Kingdon, Lillian Hawery and Joy Dobson pose for a photo. These three ladies have had great success in the home’s physiotherapy program.

When Lillian Hawery, 93, moved into Frost Manor, she needed a wheelchair and even had challenges turning over in bed. Today she uses a walker for mobility, regularly attends programming and takes day trips with her family.

Lillian says she is walking again because of her determination to improve her mobility through her hard work in Frost Manor’s physiotherapy program.

Physiotherapy assistant Debbie Ellison of Achieva Health says when she began working with Lillian they focused on improving her balance. They stood at the railing and practised “marching” by lifting one leg up, then to the side, then to the back.

Once Lillian’s balance improved, she began walking short distances. After Lillian was able to walk short distances, she began focusing on improving those distances.

Lillian has done so well she has been discharged from the physiotherapy program.

“I’ve improved 100 per cent,” she says. “I can get out of bed on my own, I can go to the dining room on my own – I can pretty much do almost anything I want now.”

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