Freed from a heavy manual wheelchair, Susan's socializing picks up speed! 

Susan's OT Adrianna wrote this inspiring story about her patient.
     "Susan, or "Lovebug" as she calls everyone, brings so much joy to myself and many others at Andover Village every day. She goes up and down the hallways each day, never missing an opportunity to say hello or share a tid bit or tell a joke. The therapy team recognized that while it was the best option when given to her, the manual facility owned wheelchair she was in was no longer suitable for her needs and took away significantly from her functional mobility.

     After an OT evaluation, we got in contact with Francesca at NPL, another wonderful individual, and started the process of applying for a custom wheelchair with the best possible supports and custom features to help her regain some independence in her functional mobility. After we measured and designed the perfect fit for her, landing on power assist wheels on a lightweight manual chair, she asked almost daily when her new chair would come. It's worth mentioning that she is "one tough cookie" and "a fighter" as she often reminds us, having dealt with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis most of her life. This was one of the largest, most painful barriers to comfortable functional mobility for her. Having to push with significant deformities and nodules from the RA on both of her arms each day against a chair too big and too heavy for her was painful and resulted in being able to propel only 6-8 inches at a time with very little speed. With all that in mind, I could see myself asking daily too if I was waiting on a new opportunity for less pain and discomfort with my daily life and mobility.

     When Fran came back with the new chair and we fit her, it was like night and day seeing her move. Between the proper fit of the chair increasing leverage for propulsion with her arms and the power assist wheels, she could now keep up with anyone else and get around the facility with more independence and significantly decreased pain. It takes less effort for each push and she doesn't have to push as frequently overall, all while leaving the previous chair in the dust.  She is the sweetest, most gracious long term care resident and I am incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to work with her and Fran to get her moving even better and more comfortably. Having the opportunity to see Susie's and other resident's successes after all their hard work is one of the biggest reasons I love working as an occupational therapist. "

   And we at Arbor are grateful for the efforts of our therapists who make these moments possible! Thank you Adriana and team! 

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