After a nasty fall this summer that fractured her hip, Betty Lineberry's recovery has included much more than just healing fractured bones and adjusting to a walker or wheelchair.
She has had to relearn how to accomplish many household chores.
Lineberry is one of the first patients at Westminster Rehabilitation Center in Rock Hill to use the facility's expanded therapy area. The addition includes a special room designed like a home, complete with a washing machine, dryer, dishwasher and shower so patients can practice daily tasks with the help of a trained therapist.
"You have to learn all over again how to do simple things, from getting in the shower to washing dishes," said Lineberry, who will rely on a walker to provide extra support after she returns home. "They teach you how to do everything easily and safely."
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Westminster Rehab Center provides in-patient therapy to both residents of Westminster Towers adult community and the general public who qualify under Medicare.
Facility administrator Myra Webster said that in the past, many physical therapy patients would leave the center after weeks of exercise-oriented treatment, only to fear daily tasks at home. Now, patients are trained how to conduct basic chores while still using wheelchairs, walkers or other devices.
"It really helps our clients return home independently," she said. "The practicality of it really sets us apart from other places."
Therapist Bridget Hager said the household activities supplement the physical therapy (learning to use and strengthen major muscles) and occupational therapy (tuning fine motor skills) already offered to patients. She said the new program prevents patients from needing more in-home therapy after they're released from the hospital.
"Many residents are fearful of falling again," Hager said. "We fine-tune a lot of the things you do day to day, and it builds their confidence."
So far, the feedback has been positive.
"They've strengthened every part of my body," Lineberry said. "I'm almost ready to go home."