Timothy Slone participates in creative therapy with Leann Scott, physical therapist assistant, left, and Elizabeth Carter, occupational therapist.

After being hospitalized for respiratory failure and hypoxia caused by pneumonia, Timothy Slone needed rehabilitation prior to returning home.


Slone came to Life Care Center of Sparta, Tennessee, on Feb. 21, 2017. Upon admission, he was very weak and socially isolated due to his hospitalization, prior living situation and additional diagnosis of mild intellectual disability. He required assistance with balance, transferring from one surface to another, walking, bathing, dressing and general hygiene.


In his first few days at the facility, Slone did not want to come out of his room to participate in therapy. Being around people made him anxious. The therapists working with him realized in order to help him meet his rehabilitation goals, they were going to have to be creative and develop trust.


The therapists started slowly by offering in-room treatments. The next step was to convince Slone to come to the gym early in the morning when foot traffic was low to minimize his anxiety. During this transition, the therapists used games and fun activities for him to enjoy participating in therapeutic exercises and work the muscles he would need for functional tasks.


Some of these activities included bowling and corn hole to facilitate restoration of balance and postural stability during mobility.


Slone quickly bonded with Leann Scott, physical therapist assistant, and Elizabeth Carter, occupational therapist, and was easily motivated by the creative activities they introduced. He began getting excited for his therapy sessions and was no longer limited by his social anxieties. He eagerly worked with OT on restoring his activities of daily living functions in order to, as he put it, “get to do all the fun things in the gym.”


“Working with Mr. Slone was enjoyable and rewarding,” said Scott. “Allowing him to experience activities he didn’t ordinarily get to do while restoring function became the bright spot in my day.”


Slone returned home on March 23, demonstrating independence in his mobility and self care and even improved social interaction.