I walked into an evaluation where I was immediately told that the physical therapists had decided there was nothing they could do.

But listening well to the care provider, I began to feel uneasy... the patient spent her entire day in bed. Continuing in this way, she would soon get all the problems associated with not moving: contractures, bed sores, pneumonia, etc.

It would have been so easy to just agree with the other therapist, but here was someone who was my sister, confined to bed and soon to be full of discomfort.

The nurses were still involved, so I would be able to stay in as well. Supported by my supervisor, who was a physical therapist, I set some possible functional goals and started working on core strengthening and sitting balance.

Although each time it was not clear if she remembered me, by the end of each session, she was clearer and would begin to vocalize. After a while, I could even transfer her to the chair. She could sit on the side of the bed by herself for short periods of time.

Perhaps most importantly of all, the caregiver, who originally thought that she was only safe staying in bed, soon began telling me how important it was that she move and change her position. When my assignment was coming to an end, the caretaker assured me that she knew now how to get her out of bed.

Mary DeRosia, New York

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