Left to right: Cayce Weekley, physical therapist; Dorothy Gothard; Schonna Davis, occupational therapist; and Mary Clonts, physical therapist assistant

After having surgery on her circulatory system, Dorothy Gothard came to Life Care Center of Red Bank in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for rehabilitation.


Not only was Gothard recovering from surgery, but she also has Parkinson’s disease and needed help to combat the effects of that disease on her movement and voice.


When she arrived at the facility on Feb. 28, 2018, Gothard needed extensive assistance with standing balance, transfers and getting dressed. She needed moderate help for walking and a little less assistance with bed mobility, grooming, bathing and cognition.


Speech therapists worked with Gothard on cognition and voice, while occupational therapists focused on her activities of daily living, the self-care tasks she would need to be able to do at home. Physical therapists put their expertise to teaching her how to increase her strength and range of motion and overcome the shuffling gait common with Parkinson’s. They used dynamic balance and activities to increase her stride length, as well as the LiteGait® weight-supported harness system to practice her gait.


“Given my condition and the level that I came here at, I was always surprised at my results through therapy,” Gothard said.


Now, Gothard is able to walk 350 feet with supervision and can transfer independently. She is able to take care of herself on her own with some supervision for bathing and dressing, and she is thinking and speaking clearly.


On April 9, Gothard went to live with her husband in assisted living.