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After being hospitalized for chest pain, Herman Neal came to Life Care Center of Hilton Head for rehabilitation.


When Neal came to the skilled nursing and rehab center on March 6, 2018, he was weak and not able to take care of himself. He needed assistance for grooming, bathing and getting dressed, as well as for walking, standing and transferring from one surface to another.


Neal participated in physical and occupational therapies.


“Our goal was to provide Herman with treatment interventions that would help him return to his prior level of function,” shared Eunice Thornton, physical therapist assistant.


Therapists started off with resistance bands and ankle weights to lead Neal in lower-body exercises and increase his strength. As he progressed, he was able to do these exercises from a standing position instead of just a seated position. He also used the Omnicycle seated exercise machine to practice strength, endurance and coordination.


As Neal got stronger, he began working on gait training with a front-wheeled walker, then a single-point cane. Then came even more challenging training.


“Mr. Neal lives in a two-story house, and being able to manage stairs was something I wanted to make sure he was able to perform before being discharged,” said Thornton. “We started stair training with a four-inch stepper and then a six-inch stepper to prepare for an actual staircase.”


Neal was able to return home on April 4 independently.


“The physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing and support services provided by the Life Care center were outstanding,” said Neal.