Tina Cummings has been a long-term resident at Life Care Center of Idaho Falls, Idaho, for several years.
When Cummings first arrived, she could not walk or transfer without a lot of difficulty, so she started rehabilitation services. She made good progress, being able to walk again and transfer safely.
Over the course of her stay, Cummings has been on and off therapy services as her level of function has fluctuated. She has been able to resume walking to meals over the years.
The last few months have been difficult. Cummings lost her ability to walk again, and she began to doubt whether she would ever be able do it again.
“She was hesitant about doing therapy again as her motivation and energy level were lower than usual,” said Curtis Jacobson, director of rehab services. “She did not believe it was possible to walk like she did in the past, that her potential had somehow disappeared. She finally developed the courage to be back on therapy, thinking it was a long shot but she would give it a try.
“She was very apprehensive about standing,” Jacobson continued. “The first time she walked, it was just a short distance of 50 – 60 feet. She was tired but felt good afterwards. She was encouraged to keep trying.”
Within a few weeks, Cummings was walking more than 100 feet. She started to get her confidence back and wanted to be on a regular walk-to-dine program. As she began walking to meals, she developed the endurance needed to walk farther and faster, improving her endurance and coordination. Today she is walking more than 230 feet with improved balance and coordination, and now she only requires supervision to do so.