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Regaining Skills and Strengths at Hooverwood


When she was seeking recovery after back surgery, former Hooverwood nurse Diane Kennaugh knew exactly where she needed to go: Hooverwood.

“I was pretty hopeless when I got there,” said Kennaugh. “I could barely walk for all that had happened to me. But I went to Hooverwood, and the therapists were patient with me. They pushed me when I needed to be pushed, and they never gave me more than I could tolerate.”

Why a hands-on approach to therapy matters

While commonly known as a long-term care facility, Hooverwood’s rehabilitation experts are one of the community’s best-kept secrets, specializing inĀ physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

Susan Crook, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Hooverwood, has been working as a therapist for 22 years. She said the key to their residents’ success is the program’s hands-on approach.

“We gear it towards the individual resident,” said Crook, explaining that Hooverwood’s personalized care means they do not “just put someone onto a machine and let them go.”

“It’s not just about shiny, state-of-the-art machines,” added Kennaugh. “You need someone who can give you patience and hope and therapists who know what they’re doing.”

After working with Crook and her staff, Kennaugh is now pleased to report that she doesn’t even need the assistance of a cane. “I’m doing great. Going out to lunch today,” said Kennaugh.

The importance of a long-term attitude towards short-term care

Louis Myers underwent total knee surgery before coming to Hooverwood to regain his strength and mobility. He went from a wheelchair to being able to walk once again, and he said he would be the first to admit that it’s not an easy experience.

“One of our residents’ biggest fears is that they won’t get to go home,” said Crook. “Another is that they might fall again. So we do everything we can to send our rehab graduates home with the confidence they’ll be able to live a life that’s normal for them.”

Myers’ advice for patients undergoing rehabilitation is to think about the benefits in the long run. “You won’t really want to do the exercises,” said Myers, “but just go ahead and do it. Think of the future, about how you’re going to walk again.”

Creating a holistic rehabilitation experience

Part of Hooverwood’s approach to therapy means involving more than just therapists in the process. Hooverwood’s interdisciplinary team of nurses, social workers, activities staff, dietitians, and physicians provide assessment and input that work together to meet residents’ needs during their short-term stay at Hooverwood.

“There’s a good team atmosphere here,” said Crook. “People want to feel like their loved one is the most important thing that we have to do today, and we all try to promote that. Everyone who walks into our gym, we want to make them feel special.”

To learn more about rehabilitation at Hooverwood, visit our services page or callĀ 317-251-2261.