Shane Warren, physical therapist assistant, with Donald “Gus” Likes

Donald “Gus” Likes was living at home with his wife of 67 years when he was hospitalized with a kidney infection and respiratory failure with hypoxia. Prior to his hospitalization, Likes could walk and perform all of his activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing, without assistance. However, he experienced muscle atrophy and extreme decline in his self-care abilities after his time in the hospital.


On May 3, 2019, Likes came to Life Care Center of Idaho Falls, Idaho, without the ability to walk, get out of bed or even move around in bed without total assistance. He also needed complete assistance for all of his activities of daily living, including feeding himself and hygiene tasks.


Life Care Center of Idaho Falls provided physical and occupational therapies to improve Likes’ ability to perform mobility tasks and self-care tasks.


Physical therapy utilized strengthening exercises and equipment to help Likes move and regain his ability to walk, while occupational therapy focused on helping him increase his performance of everyday tasks.


“When Gus started therapy he was always willing to participate and get better,” said Curtis Jacobson, director of rehab. “His goal was to get back to his beautiful wife at home. The love he has for his wife was a big motivator for him to progress with therapy.”


At the end of his therapies, Likes could move comfortably and walk moderate distances with a walker. He could also perform all of his activities of daily living, requiring only supervision or minimal assistance. Most importantly, he was at a level of independence that allowed him to return home to his wife, Phyllis.


“It is a miracle that he is doing so well now,” said Phyllis.


At the beginning, it was unclear if Likes would become functional enough to return home, but with the help of skilled therapists, determination and the motivation that comes with love, the couple will be happily reunited.