Casey Perry, physical therapist assistant, with JoAnn Hicks

On Aug. 2, 2018, JoAnn Hicks came to Life Care Center of Banner Elk, North Carolina, for rehabilitation after suffering from a cellulitis infection and wound neuropathy.


A little over a month later, on Oct. 9, Hicks returned home much more able to take care of herself.


When Hicks started physical and occupational therapies at the facility, she needed moderate assistance with most of her mobility and activities of daily living, including walking, standing, transferring from one surface to another, rolling over in bed, grooming, bathing and getting dressed.


Occupational therapists focused on helping Hicks regain her independence in daily skills. They met with her five days a week and did a lot of hand and upper-body exercises to increase her strength for these activities. They taught her to use adaptive equipment, such as a reacher and sock aide, and they helped her practice homemaking tasks like cooking and folding laundry.


Physical therapists met with Hicks seven days a week and centered their efforts on increasing her lower-body strength, balance and wound healing. They used diathermy to help her foot heal and used a special shoe to help keep pressure off of her toes. They also used seated exercises and the Omnicycle® exercise machine for strengthening.


“Everyone is so kind and friendly and goes out of their way to help me,” said Hicks. “Dean, the bus driver, is so kind and considerate when taking me to my appointments. I enjoy the activities here, and the food is great, like home cooking.”


About her rehab experience, Hicks shared, “Therapy helped me walk, stand and balance better and helped me get rid of some of the pain in my legs.”


When Hicks went home, she was independent in her bed mobility, transfers and grooming skills. She can stand and walk with a walker with supervision, and she has home health to help her with her reduced needs in bathing and dressing.