Left to right: Erin Thompson, occupational therapist; Angela Appleberry; Misty Chadwick, physical therapist assistant; and Ocellia Whatley, occupational therapist assistant

When 57-year-old Angela Appleberry came to Life Care Center of Red Bank in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she was struggling with weakness after a stay in the hospital.


Appleberry had just had an acute episode of respiratory failure, as well as altered mental status and encephalopathy. She also has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and peripheral vascular disease. As a result, when she arrived on June 4, 2018, she was on oxygen and needed extensive assistance with getting dressed. She needed moderate assistance with walking, transferring from one surface to another, standing balance and bathing.


Five days a week, Appleberry took part in physical and occupational therapies.


The physical therapy team instructed Appleberry in safety awareness with transfers, walking and managing her oxygen equipment while walking. Although she started at a low level of ability, she surpassed her goals and therapists’ expectations and was able to move on to higher-level exercises.


In occupational therapy, Appleberry worked on mastering her daily self-care tasks and regaining functional strength. OTs used puzzles, one of her favorite activities, to help her engage in balance, attention and endurance.


“Angela thrived in the gym, where she could interact and joke with other residents and staff members,” said Jamie Wallis, director of rehab.


“Therapy at Life Care Center of Red Bank was encouraging when I was about to give up,” said Appleberry. “I feel like I’m brand new.”


Appleberry has been able to regain her independence. She returned home on June 28.