"I thought you were just for rich people. I didn't know you could help the rest of us."

posted on Monday, February 26, 2018

Nancy W.

Nancy, who asked that her face not be shown, works on exercises in this photo with Park Centre director of rehab Meghan Kelly.

When Nancy W. of Newton learned she would need to spend time in short-term rehabilitation following a surgery to repair fractures in both her femurs, she wasn't sure what to think. She was unfamiliar with the concept of short-term rehabilitation and confused when the hospital staff in Des Moines recommended she rehabilitate at Park Centre.

"I thought, why in the world would I go to Park Centre for this?" Nancy said. "When they transported me here, my first reaction was, 'I thought you were just a senior community for rich people. I didn't know you could help the rest of us.'"

Patients like Nancy are often prescribed short-term rehabilitation to help them regain strength and function after a hospital stay that follows surgery, an accident, or a short- or long-term illness. Stays can range from a few days to a few weeks, with costs covered by Medicare if the hospital stay and rehab community both are approved by Medicare as well. 

All WesleyLife's Communities for Healthy Living offer short-term rehabilitation services, with physical, occupational, and speech therapy provided by teams of professional therapists. Services are open to residents of those communities as well as to individuals who live elsewhere.

All those things surprised Nancy.

"Most people think of Park Center as a place you go to live for the rest of your life, not a place you go to just stay for a while," she said. "I was so happy to find they had the section for recovery, and all these wonderful people. I had been through a lot with my injuries and surgery, and it was nice to come here and get the help I needed to get back on my feet."

Nancy said she especially appreciated that the therapists were patient with her while encouraging her to work as hard as she was able. 

"The skills of the people who work with us here are top-notch, and the equipment is out of this world," she said. "I never could have done this on my own at home. Homes usually aren't equipped with a set-up like this, which is really like a gym with everything you could possibly need."

Meghan Kelly, Director of Rehab for Park Center, said when Nancy first arrived for rehabilitation, she had a long way to go to regain her strength.

"She had been walking on stress fractures for quite a while, and she was used to being in pain," Meghan said. "I thought it was going to take us a while to gain her confidence and earn her trust, but she was eager to do the work she needed to get better. She has done a great job."

After Nancy returns to her house, her husband, and her cat, she'll continue to work with Park Centre's home health team to maintain and enhance her strength, and may return to rehabilitation as an outpatient. She said she's grateful WesleyLife's network of services can help keep her independent and healthy at home.

"I had no idea WesleyLife and Park Centre do so many things to help people," Nancy said. "I've been telling everyone I know, 'You won't believe everything they offer. If you ever need help, you have to go there.'"

To learn more about short-term rehabilitation in any of our communities, visit the rehabilitation section of this website, or call us at (515) 978-2777. 


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