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Crossville, Tennesse, resident Dorothy Thackston has seen Life Care Center of Crossville through several different lenses over the years.


It started in January 2016, when Thackston’s husband, Willard, became a resident at the skilled nursing and rehab center because of advanced dementia.


“At the time, I didn’t think anyone could do for Will what I could,” said Thackston. “I soon realized that the staff at Life Care was helping me by taking such good care of my husband.”


Since Thackston was at the facility often visiting her husband anyway, she became a volunteer.


“It was then that I saw the great care that the staff took with the residents, no matter what job that staff member had,” Thackston shared.


In June 2016, Willard passed away, and Thackston had to get used to living alone.


This June, Thackston had a fall and broke her left arm. Remembering the experience she had had previously with Life Care Center of Crossville, she chose to do her rehabilitation there.


“Doing therapy and reacquainting myself with the staff gave me a whole new outlook,” said Thackston. “Employees introduced me to their family members, my friends from the Fair Park Senior Center were regular visitors and Vicki [Kilby], a housekeeping employee, always stopped by and said, ‘Hi, Dorothy.’”


Physical and occupational therapists worked with Thackston on strength, mobility and self-care skills, such as getting dressed, bathing and grooming. They used joint mobilization and manual therapy, as well as the Biodex Balance System SD to help her with balance training. The NuStep® and Omnicycle machines allowed her to exercise her upper and lower body from a seated position.


“When I neared the end of my therapy, my therapist came home with me to make sure I would be safe and recommend modifications that would continue to allow me to live independently in my own home,” Thackston said.


On Oct. 3, 2017, Thackston returned home, able to walk with supervision and mostly take care of herself.


Now, Thackston continues her relationship with the folks at Life Care Center of Crossville as an outpatient. After her therapy sessions, she stays around for a while to visit with her friends who live or work at the center. She is also volunteering there again.