Therapy offered at Riverledge in Ogdensburg helps regain independence
Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 6:09 pm

OGDENSBURG - After being released from the hospital, Alice Donnelly, Canton, regained her strength with physical therapy at the RiverLedge Health Care and Rehabilitation Center where she.

“Everyday was pleasant,” 89- year old Alice Donnelly said, “They pay attention to your needs. Every week I was so much better. The attention they give you is just amazing for such a big place.”

The therapy itself was focused on helping Alice Donnelly get back to the point where she could maneuver around her home without constant supervision. She was hospitalized due immobilizing pain in her hip.

“She wasn’t able to walk very many steps without having to sit. She needed a lot of help getting up, getting down,” physical therapist Donna Donnelly - no relation - said.

With the help of Alice Donnelly’s daughter, Marie Kielly, the therapy was individualized to the point of simulating the layout of Ms. Kielly’s home - where Alice Donnelly lives.

Taking advantage of the Activities of Daily Living Suite located at RiverLedge, Donna Donnelly, who has been with United Helpers for six years, made sure that Alice Donnelly was able to maneuver around her bedroom, kitchen and bathroom before she was discharged.

“She needed to demonstrate that she could do [daily living routines] with us watching so that when she went home somebody wouldn’t need to be on top of her all the time,” Donna Donnelly said.

Alice Donnelly said, “I can’t believe it was three weeks that I was there, because they took such good care of you. Somebody was always there for you.”

“I really surprised myself,” Alice Donnelly said of her progress during her stay at RiverLedge. “That was terrific, because I wasn’t able to do anything [before].”

“By the end she was walking 150 feet without sitting down,” Donna Donnelly said. “When she left here Northern Lights went [into her home] and they were continuing the exercise plan with her.”

Northern Lights Home Health Care is co-managed by United Helpers, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Canton-Potsdam Hospital and Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley and helps people across the county who need intermediate and skilled health care.

Ms. Kielly said, “[Donna Donnelly] was excellent. She really took mom’s needs to heart. She geared everything to her specific needs.”

Donna Donnelly said, “They definitely were a really nice family and they were really easy to work with.”

Outside of the therapy suite Alice Donnelly said her stay at RiverLedge was as enjoyable as recovering from an injury can be.

“If you ring the bell and you need help they’re right there. Everybody had a private room - that doesn’t happen in regular hospitals,” she said. “What more could you ask for?”

Alice Donnelly said the menu was always flexible – she was allowed to take her pick of the day’s offerings and if she didn’t see anything she wanted the staff would whip something up just for her. “You always chose what you wanted,” she said. “And if it was off the menu they got it anyway somehow. They’d give you whatever you needed.”

Alice Donnelly also noted that she was able to get her hair and nails done in-house during her stay at RiverLedge and attend several events held on campus.

Ms. Kielly said, “One thing that I thought was really good was the family meeting they had, where everyone who was dealing with mom met with me. That was helpful.”

During the meeting Ms. Kielly said she was able to discuss some concerns she had about her mother’s diet that were able to be addressed during her stay.

“I’ve got my weight up,” Alice Donnelly said, adding that she was down to 110 pounds when she entered RiverLedge. By the time she left the facility she was up to 119 and is up to a healthy 130 currently.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to go to RiverLedge,” Alice Donnelly said. “They’re right there for you.”