In October 2018, William Harnishfeger was admitted to Life Care Center of Rhea County in Dayton, Tennessee, with a bad case of septic arthritis that had reduced his mobility, self-care abilities and general cognition.
“There were so many things wrong with me when I was first admitted here that I can’t even list them all,” Harnishfeger said. “I don’t even remember the first couple of weeks that I was here. I had pain which made even the smallest amount of movement very difficult and almost impossible. I had little to no motor control, which left me unable to sit up, dress and even bathe.”
Life Care Center of Rhea County provided physical, occupational and speech therapies to improve Harnishfeger’s ability to perform mobility tasks, daily self-care tasks and to rehabilitate his chewing and swallowing abilities.
Physical therapy helped Harnishfeger strengthen his core in order to regain his movement and confidently walk up and down stairs and onto curbs. Occupational therapy focused on hygiene tasks, dressing and regaining balance, while speech therapy taught Harnishfeger safe swallowing strategies that ultimately helped recover his swallowing ability.
Despite his difficult situation, Harnishfeger never gave up or lost hope. Instead, he worked diligently through his therapies and made significant improvements.
“I can’t even remember coming here,” Harnishfeger said. “I was so out of it. Now I’m getting ready to go home. Everyone has been so helpful, ensuring that I get everything I need so I can get back to normal.”
Harnishfeger has begun outpatient therapy while staying at the facility’s assisted living center, The Veranda at Rhea County. He is expected to return home to his wife soon.