Vernon Depew with his care team

Frequent falls at home left Vernon Depew with a compression fracture at the bottom of his spine and in need of rehabilitation.


Depew came to Life Care Center of Gray, Tennessee, on March 10, 2017, requiring total assistance for his mobility, including walking, transferring from one surface to another and getting in and out of bed. He also needed total assistance to bathe and manage his medications, and he required extensive assistance to balance while standing, groom himself and get dressed.


“When I was first admitted, I couldn’t even walk,” Depew remembered. “Once I was able to start therapy, I started getting stronger.”


Therapy for Depew consisted of physical and occupational therapy six days a week, working on strength, balance, range of motion, endurance and self-care skills.


“Mr. Depew was initially resistant to therapy,” said Regina Diehl, director of rehab. “Trust was formed with him and therapists and eventually restorative nursing. Activities also played a huge role in encouraging him to participate with therapy and restorative.”


The hard work paid off. Depew regained full independence in his activities of daily living and his mobility. He completed his rehab on June 7 and returned home on Aug. 31 after completing his restorative nursing program.


“I couldn’t have done it without the staff’s willpower and my willpower,” Depew said.