Left to right: Casey Kaylor, physical therapist assistant; Ronald Barfield; and Sharon Stimell, occupational therapist assistant

Ronald Barfield recently returned home after rehabilitation at Life Care Center of Rhea County in Dayton, Tennessee, for a stroke.


“I had a stroke while reading to a class at a local school,” Barfield remembered.


Barfield was serving as the primary caregiver for his wife at the time, and it was important to him to recover quickly and resume that role. He came to Life Care Center of Rhea County on April 1, 2019, and took part in physical, occupational and speech therapies.


When he started out, Barfield needed extensive assistance with hygiene and getting dressed, as well as moderate assistance for bathing, walking, getting in and out of bed, standing balance and swallowing. He also needed some help with bed mobility and sitting balance.


Physical therapists used a combination of strategies to help Barfield recover functional mobility. They used neuromuscular reeducation for his balance, as well as trunk and lower-body strengthening exercises and gait training. He is now independent in each of those areas except for standing balance, for which he only needs supervision.


Occupational therapists addressed Barfield’s ability to take care of himself. They worked on strengthening his upper body, and he now only needs supervision for most of his activities of daily living.


Speech therapists helped Barfield strengthen the facial muscles he needed to swallow safely, and he was able to go from a modified diet to eating and drinking normally again.


“The care that I received from the nursing staff and the therapists allowed me to return home and continue to be the primary caregiver for my wife,” said Barfield. “I couldn’t have done it without the Life Care team. I am now participating in the outpatient physical and occupational therapy programs. This is allowing me to recover the last bit of function I still lack.”