Left to right: Rachel Valone, physical therapist assistant; Vernon Odle; and Aaron Anderson, physical therapist assistant

On Feb. 9, 2017, Vernon Odle came to Rensselaer Care Center in Rensselaer, Indiana, for help with mobility after having an above-the-knee amputation.


Odle needed total assistance for bathing, as well as extensive assistance with bed mobility and swallowing and moderate assistance with cognition, dressing, walking, standing and transferring from one surface to another. He needed minimal assistance with grooming tasks and sitting balance.


Speech therapists worked with Odle three days a week to improve his thinking skills and swallowing ability, teaching him how to reduce his risk of choking on food and liquids. He was almost completely independent by the time he completed his rehab.


Occupational therapists, meanwhile, helped retrain Odle in the self-care skills he would need at home. They focused on motor coordination and had him practice these activities of daily living five days a week until he was able to take care of himself with simple supervision.


Much of Odle’s gains, however, were in physical therapy. The PT team trained him in how to use his prosthesis and take care of it. They helped him strengthen his body through exercises and worked with him on walking with a four-wheel walker. He is now able to get around with supervision.


Therapy was easy, and I really enjoyed working with the therapists,” Odle said. “My favorite part was being able to walk in the parallel bars.”


Odle went home on May 2, 2017.