Left to right: Meagan Graham, physical therapist assistant; Thelma Roberts; and Andrea Hubbard, occupational therapist assistant

With six falls in the past year and a bout with pneumonia and hypoxia (a lack of oxygen throughout the body), Thelma Roberts knew it was time to do some rehabilitation.


Roberts came to Life Care Center of Columbia, Tennessee, with decreased strength and endurance. Therapists worked with her to create a treatment plan to regain as much independence as possible and get her steadier on her feet.


With the help of physical and occupational therapists, Roberts focused on balance training. She also practiced reaching in various directions, transferring from one surface to another, walking and performing her activities of daily living, such as bathing, getting dressed and washing her face. The PTs and OTs also had her do exercises to strengthen her legs, core and arms and build up her activity tolerance.


“Thelma was hardworking and willing to try anything I asked of her,” said Meagan Graham, physical therapist assistant. “She gave 110 percent with her goal to get back home.”


With eight weeks of therapy, Roberts went home on July 31, 2019. She can now walk with supervision or standby assistance and transfer with modified independence, and her balance has improved.


“I had gotten so weak, and after my therapy I have my strength back in my arms and legs and have my relief in my back,” said Roberts. “The nurses were nice to me, and the therapists made therapy enjoyable.”