Left to right: Michelle Strecker, occupational therapist; Toby Churchill; and Christine Montes, physical therapist

Toby Churchill came to Life Care Center of Elkhorn, Nebraska, for therapy and nursing care on June 16, 2016, after his wife had to go to the hospital.


Churchill had Parkinson's disease and couldn’t care for himself. He needed extensive assistance to stand up and sit down, bathe, feed himself and get dressed. He also had trouble with balance, walking, voice volume and cognition.


Physical, occupational and speech therapists met with Churchill five days a week in traditional rehabilitation and specialty Parkinson’s rehabilitation. Advanced Parkinson’s training included PWR!Moves®, exercises that address areas of motion often hampered by the disease, and Interactive Metronome, which uses rhythm to improve the body’s coordination.


Churchill also participated in group exercise classes at the facility, PD Power and Fitness classes, Rock Steady Boxing sessions and the Parkinson’s support group that meets at the center.


Life Care Center of Elkhorn offered another unique rehab tool to help Churchill get back on his feet: the FreeStep Supported Ambulation System. The harness system is fastened to a track installed overhead, which goes over a treadmill, floor mats, a set of stairs and the facility’s balance equipment. This enabled Churchill to practice making big motions, which help the body compensate for the effects of Parkinson’s, in a secure and fall-free environment.


“I couldn’t duplicate the services provided by the therapists at Life Care Center of Elkhorn,” Churchill said. “I have been able to regain independence in my life since the start of therapy. They have provided me the tools to fight back against Parkinson’s disease.”


“Toby was willing to put in the extra effort and do whatever challenge was asked of him,” said Christine Montes, physical therapist, and Michelle Strecker, occupational therapist. “His upbeat attitude and comical personality helped him progress to being independent.”


As of December 2016, Churchill was independent in walking, transferring from one surface to another and balancing while sitting and standing. He only needed supervision getting out of bed, taking care of his daily grooming tasks, feeding himself and getting dressed.