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Adeline: Occupational Therapy

After a bad fall resulted in two broken wrists that required surgery, Adeline, 75, found herself at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute outpatient location in Oakland. She was referred there by her surgeon who recommended she have extensive hand, arm, and shoulder therapy. Adeline was confident because both her husband and granddaughter had positive experiences at UPMC.

When she started occupational therapy, Adeline’s casts had just been removed. Due to lack of movement, her arms felt weak and she was having difficulty with daily tasks, such as bathing and feeding herself, and cleaning her home.

“When I started therapy, they questioned how much movement I would be able to get back,” recalled Adeline. “My therapists were so patient with me. I’m no spring chicken, but they stuck with me and did such a wonderful job.”

Adeline enjoyed therapy so much that she actually looked forward to going.

“I didn’t want to quit when it was time! I wanted to keep going,” she said.

Adeline’s occupational therapy required twice daily visits. Since she no longer drives, the team accommodated her so she wouldn’t have to miss any appointments.

“They were so thoughtful and flexible,” said Adeline. “I was dropped off at 8:30 in the morning and they would let me stay for two full hours of therapy instead of having to leave and come back later in two separate trips. That made things so much easier for me.”

Despite her prognosis at the beginning of therapy, Adeline has been able to recover much of the movement in her hands.

“While I was there they also worked on my balance, to avoid another fall,” said Adeline. “I almost got to the point where I could stand on one leg for 18 seconds. Now I am able to go to group exercise classes and participate in those activities. A lot of the exercises remind me of therapy and I really enjoy that.”

Adeline is back to doing the things she loves. She says that she has the wonderful team of therapists to thank for getting her back to her old self.

“I highly recommend them,” she said. “I give them an A plus!”

Read more stories from the Occupational Therapy Program patients.

Learn more about the Occupational Therapy Program.