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Therapy at Sanford Health Sunset Drive Continuing Care Center helps woman
|After Cecelia Kuntz suffered a stroke last year,
her goal was to be as independent as possible
and live outside of the nursing home setting.
She now lives in a studio apartment that provides assisted living. “I wouldn’t be where I am now without the therapy I received at Sanford Health Sunset Drive Continuing Care Center,” she said.
Kuntz, 85, had been living alone in her Mandan apartment. “I had done everything for myself, including shopping, cooking and driving,” she said. “It was a terrible feeling to no longer be able to do the little things you take for granted. I couldn’t even dress myself anymore.”Her stroke affected her left side. She could no longer use her left hand or walk. She was dependent on others to move her wheelchair and required assistance transferring to a
A stroke threatened to take away Cecelia Kuntz's independence, but the rehabilitation therapy services she received at the Sanford Health Sunset Drive Continuing Care Center helped her return to apartment living.
|“As therapists, our goal is to help
patients reach maximum independence,”
said Hannah Zimmerman, an
occupational therapist with the Sanford Health Continuing Care Centers, which
include two living centers in Mandan, one in Bismarck
and an independent living center in
Bismarck. “While many associate
nursing homes as the place where
elderly people live the rest of their lives,
there has been a shift to nursing homes
as a place for people of all ages to recover after
hospital discharge. We can provide nursing care as
well as rehabilitation.”
All continuing care centers owned and operated by Sanford Health offer a team approach to therapy provided by occupational, physical and speech therapists.
“We see patients with conditions including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain injury and bone fractures,” said Dannette Huber, a Sanford Health Continuing Care Centers physical therapist.
Kuntz’s physical therapy focused on walking, strengthening and improving her balance while standing. “We determined she would not be able to walk long distances, so we focused on maneuvering a power wheelchair and worked on transferring and functioning independently from it,” Huber said.
For several weeks, Kuntz also had speech therapy focused on cognitive functioning including memory, awareness, reasoning and safety awareness.
“Cecelia had movement in her left arm but wasn’t able to do tasks involving fine motor coordination, like buttoning,” Zimmerman said. “A patient often forgets about the side affected by the stroke. We had to retrain her brain to increase awareness of the left side of her body and the environment on that side. She had to learn daily activities in a modified way because she could no longer do things the way she had before the stroke.”
Kuntz is able to complete her bathroom and grooming routine and dress herself. She also has learned other activities of daily living, such as cooking and tidying her kitchen.
“Cecelia was extremely motivated to be as independent as possible, and her family was a phenomenal support system,” Zimmerman said. “She was also realistic and knew she may have to move from her apartment to an assisted-living facility.”
“My daughter stayed with me for several weeks after I returned home, helping me as minimally as possible,” Kuntz said. “After two weeks of rehabilitation as a hospital patient, I moved to this studio apartment. I’m glad to be here instead of in a nursing home.”
She takes herself to the dining room for meals and has assistance with bathing and laundry.
“I don’t consider myself a nursing home patient because I can do so many things for myself,” Kuntz said. “I would not have come as far as I have without Dannette and Hannah. I can’t thank them enough.”
Click here for more information
on Sanford Health Sunset Drive Continuing Care Center services.