Patient Stories

Wreatha Riva

Turn the Corner Swing Bed Program Returns Wreatha to Active Lifestyle

Thanks to two weeks at the Turn the Corner Swing Bed Program at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, the 90-year-old from Kincaid is back to her 5 a.m. workouts at Taylorville YMCA.

Everyone has been exceptional,” Vickie said. “They treat everyone as if it was their own family member. We are such strong supporters of this program because we have seen what it can do. They have an end goal in sight for their patients – and that’s to get them back home.” 

Only an extended Springfield hospital stay during last year’s holiday season kept Wreatha Riva out of the lazy river at the Taylorville YMCA.

But thanks to two weeks at the Turn the Corner Swing Bed Program at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, the 90-year-old from Kincaid is back to her 5 a.m. workouts, walking 1-2 miles against the current with her friends. 

“I needed to get my strength back after being down,” she said. “It was so clean and nice, and everyone was good to you. They made me do everything – didn’t leave a stone unturned. Plus, they made the best chili I ever ate in my life!”

Larger private rooms, 24-7 RN and physician care, physical, occupational and speech therapies and on-site hospital resources including radiology, lab services and pharmacy were all important to Wreatha. Just as important, however, was the ability to receive quality care close to home.

Rebecca Davis, PTA, and Deanna Kurlakowsky, COTA, were just two of the therapists who worked Wreatha right back to home. She did band exercises on her arms and legs to help regain muscle strength. She picked up and folded towels as part of balance exercises. She walked from the third floor to the first floor TMH Gift shop daily. 

In a department’s kitchen environment, she baked chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen and washed up the dirty dishes afterward.

Wreatha’s daughter, Vickie Henley, 60, of Springfield, says her family is a strong supporter of the TMH program. This was Wreatha’s second time in the unit after open heart surgery several years earlier.

They appreciated the spacious rooms, attentive care and logistical support they received from Turn the Corner coordinator Becky Erlenbush, BSN, RN, manager, Care Management and Discharge Planning. 

“Mom wanted to go straight home, but we knew she was still weak and needed a little more therapy,” Vickie said. “When we told her she could come back to TMH, she said ‘I’ll do it.’ Becky handled all of the details of the transfer from Memorial Medical in Springfield to TMH. It was a seamless transition.”

Since Wreatha was discharged in January, a new activity room has been added with new furniture, recliners, puzzles and additional room for family members to interact with patients.

 “Everyone has been exceptional,” Vickie said. “They treat everyone as if it was their own family member. We are such strong supporters of this program because we have seen what it can do. They have an end goal in sight for their patients – and that’s to get them back home.” 

Wreatha has two more outpatient therapy sessions left. This spring, she plans to resume all of her everyday activities, which include trips into Taylorville to run errands (in her snazzy ruby red Ford Fusion) and Skyping with her sister, Leatha, during Cardinals games. She also travels on the senior bus for some of their day trips.

“When I got home, I didn’t have any problems,” Wreatha said. “I stayed the first night by myself, and it felt good to sleep in my own bed.”

For more information, call 217-824-1130 or visit Taylorvillememorial.org/Services/Swing-Bed-Program

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