Left to right: Megan Chandler, speech therapist; Beth Williams, physical therapist assistant; Aileen Williams; and Vanda Earles, occupational therapist assistant

After falling at home and fracturing her left femur, Aileen Williams had surgery and came to The Heritage Center in Morristown, Tennessee, for rehabilitation.


Williams arrived on May 14, 2018, needing maximum assistance with bed mobility and transfers from one surface to another and maximum to moderate assistance with gait. She could only walk up to 10 feet with a rolling walker. Her self-care skills were also hampered by her injury, including getting dressed, bathing and handling her daily grooming tasks.


In addition, Williams was having difficulty swallowing safely and was on a textured diet as a result.


Physical, occupational and speech therapists all worked with Williams to help her regain as much independence as possible. She did some form of therapy each day.


The physical therapy team focused on Williams’ mobility and strength. They used electrical stimulation to help ease her post-surgery pain, and they did lower-body strengthening exercises with her, as well as gait training. The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill® was a great tool as she relearned to walk – it helped reduce the weight she put on her leg and the impact so she could follow through on motions more smoothly.


Williams improved to where she was independent in transfers, bed mobility and sitting balance and just needed supervision for walking and standing. She could walk up to 125 feet with a rolling walker when she finished rehab.


“Aileen was a pleasure to work with, actively involved with her plan of care and completing her home exercise program daily,” said Beth Williams, physical therapist assistant.


Speech therapy addressed Williams’ swallowing skills. Thermal-gustatory-tactile stimulation, along with exercises and compensatory techniques, helped her regain strength in the throat muscles used for swallowing. She was back on a normal diet at the end of her stay.


In occupational therapy, Williams retrained in her activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing. She was able to regain independence in getting dressed and taking care of her grooming tasks and just needed supervision with bathing and self-feeding.


“Aileen was very motivated to return home and worked diligently toward her goals,” said Vanda Earles, occupational therapist.


“Therapy has helped me get around better,” said Williams. “I can get in and out of bed and the bathroom and walk around by myself. I have no trouble swallowing now, and my left leg pain and soreness have also resolved. You all have done a grand job.”


Williams returned home on June 21.