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On April 19, 2017, Julie Bolgrien came to Life Care Center of Boise, Idaho, needing help with muscle weakness due to medical complications.


A little more than two weeks later, on May 5, Bolgrien was returning to an independent life at home.


Physical and occupational therapy helped Bolgrien meet her goals. When she arrived, she needed assistance to walk and to do basic self-care tasks. Therapists met with her six days a week, with PT focused on rebuilding her strength and OT focused on helping her to be able to take care of herself and her home again. For example, occupational therapists had her practice home tasks like grooming, laundry and cooking.


Exercise was key, and special equipment helped Bolgrien gradually regain her stamina. The NuStep® machine, a stationary bicycle with arm cranks, allowed her to exercise her upper and lower body while seated. The Omnicycle let her cycle her legs while moving her arms and wrists in a more circular motion. Thera-Band resistance bands provided controlled exercise supervised by a therapist, and a rickshaw apparatus gave her the chance to work her arm and shoulder muscles so she could stand up better from a chair.


“Therapy was wonderful, and they care and go above and beyond,” Bolgrien said about her therapists. “They are awesome people and stay on top of everything. I am so impressed.”


“Julie has that special character and inspiration that shouldn’t be limited or timed for a treatment session,” said Tara Matthews, occupational therapist assistant. “She could inspire me so much in one hour with her words of determination and positive outlook on life.”