Stories of Care: Concordia Rehab Helps Butler Woman Get Back on the Bike

June 28, 2011

Below is a version of a story that appeared in the first issue of our new Faith in Caring magazine. To be added to the mailing list or e-mail distribution list, e-mail us here or call 724.352.1571, ext. 8266. Enjoy!

As more and more individuals choose "skilled nursing facilities" (SNF) for short-term rehabilitation following a stint in the hospital, the nursing home stereotypes of yesteryear are slowly fading away.

To put it in numerical terms, in 2005 Concordia at Cabot admitted an average of 28 skilled nursing residents per month, with an average length of stay of 37 days for short-term patients and 526 days for long-term. In 2010, admissions skyrocketed to 76 per month, while the length of stays plummeted to 18 days for short-term patients and 118 days for long-term residents.

When Butler resident Paula Riggs was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in 2009, she was told both her hips would need to be replaced. After the initial shock wore off, she received a recommendation that sounded pretty attractive all things considered.

She talked to a nurse friend who had a hip replacement a few months before, and was unofficially referred to Concordia Short-Term Rehab.

"She explained that Concordia was the Ritz Carlton of rehab centers," she said. "You have your own room, good food, very friendly staff and you get better faster there."

It's the "get better faster part" that really appealed to Paula, who enjoys a little speed in her life. A finance and investments manager for Zanotti Motor Company in Butler, she is an avid Harley Davidson enthusiast, and thought constantly about getting back up on her bike.

After purchasing a Harley Davidson FLHTC, she was only able to ride with her husband Jeffrey for one season before her hips totally went. For two years she struggled with how soon to have the surgery done and where to get physical therapy.

"I finally decided to have the surgery and go to Concordia for the rehab," she said. "For the first time in two years I was able to throw my leg up and over to get on the back of the bike."

Other than the speed of her recovery, Paula said she was pleased with the top notch quality of her therapists and care team. If she needed ice, it was there. If she needed additional medication, the staff would quickly find the nurse. Amazingly, she said the physical and occupational therapy staff made her want to do therapy, which is not always the easiest part of a patient's day.

Since rehabbing at Concordia, her sister in law and mother in law have both visited the short-term rehab unit in Cabot for treatment the ultimate validation of the quality care she received.

"Concordia was clean and convenient," she said. "I loved the idea that the staff washed my clothes so my husband didn't have to."

Visit our website for more information on Concordia's three skilled nursing/short-term rehab facilities in western Pennsylvania. You can also contact an admissions coordinator toll free at 1.888.352.1571 or e-mail us here.

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