Because of muscle weakness caused by congestive heart failure, Robert Burkhart started out requiring two people to get him to stand up.
That was Burkhart’s condition when he arrived at Alderwood Manor in Spokane, Washington, on Oct. 16, 2017. Rehabilitation, however, would help him recover his strength and normal abilities.
Six days a week, Burkhart worked with physical and occupational therapists. Physical therapy focused on helping him regain strength, balance and endurance, including skills like walking and getting in and out of bed. Occupational therapy centered on his daily self-care tasks, such as getting dressed and grooming, which he could not do on his own at first.
Burkhart took part in weekly standardized testing to measure his progress and show him how he could improve.
“Robert was very motivated, never refused therapy and was always ready to work hard,” said Karli Brumfield, occupational therapist assistant. “His positive attitude and sense of humor helped him achieve his goals.”
Burkhart returned to his home in Spokane Valley on Nov. 23, able to take care of himself independently and walk again.
“The therapists know what they’re doing,” said Burkhart. “I went from not being able to walk to walking and being able to use a cane for long distances.”