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When Joseph Smothers arrived at Life Care Center of Omaha, Nebraska, on Dec. 2, 2016, he needed help to walk, get in and out of bed, take care of his daily grooming tasks and get dressed.


Smothers was battling a host of health care issues, including end-stage renal disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, but what brought him to the skilled nursing and rehab center was an antibiotic-resistant infection in his bloodstream.


Physical, occupational and speech therapists worked with Smothers five days a week. Physical therapy addressed his mobility and worked with him on going from walking with a walker to walking with someone next to him to assist if needed. PTs did strengthening exercises, balance practice, transfer training, stretches and ultrasound treatments (for pain management) with Smothers.


Occupational therapy retrained Smothers how to take care of himself, using functional exercises to help him prepare to go home. They also trained him in adaptive equipment to increase what he was able to do on his own.


Speech therapy worked with Smothers to improve his cognitive skills, using memory strategies to improve his recall of information and also teaching him problem-solving skills and safety awareness.


Therapy has helped me tremendously,” said Smothers. “When I arrived at the facility, I was unable to get out of my wheelchair, and now I am walking independently. I will never forget all the patient and caring staff here.”


Smothers returned home on Jan. 27, 2017.