Case Study: The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (February 2021)

Patients Age: 73-years-old
Admission Date: 12/24/20
Dishcharge Date: 02/03/21
Discharged To: Home
Reason for Stay: Lower leg wound, edema, cellulitis


Details of Experience:
For some, the idea of spending time in a Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center can be a bit daunting. For Cynthia, this was not the case. Cynthia has been to The Grove on two separate occasions. So when she was sent to the hospital due to cellulitis, wounds, weeping venous stasis ulcer, and edema, she knew exactly where she wanted to go.

Cynthia’s arrival to The Grove for the third time was a bit different from her previous arrivals. It was the day before Christmas. She realized she wouldn’t be spending Christmas with her sister, as she did every year. Feeling a bit down, she remembered the excellent care and services provided during her previous stays and was looking forward to reuniting with some staff members she had befriended.

Cynthia was evaluated and assessed by the Nursing and Rehab Team and it was determined what her plan of care would be. Cynthia shared that she has been having a decrease in strength and mobility and would like to work on those areas in particular. Cynthia presented the need for moderate assistance for the completion of self-care tasks and required maximum assistance for mobility and transfers. Cynthia was excited to be working again with Marlene from PT. Marlene knew exactly what Cynthia’s capabilities and abilities were and knew which areas to target. After enjoying a delicious Christmas dinner prepared by the in-house chef, Cynthia went to sleep and was eager to begin her therapy.

Cynthia worked closely together with her PT, Marlene, and her OT, Christie, to be able to get back to her prior level of function. Using the stairs was quite a challenge for Cynthia but she was eager and determined. Soon enough, she was able to complete 12 steps. Cynthia started off being able to ambulate 40 feet, Marlene shared specific techniques to increase strength balance which helped Cynthia reach 200 feet with a rolling walker!
A lover of music, Cynthia was excited to see Nathan again. Nathan is part of the Recreation Team and plays guitar on the units and provides a calming relaxing atmosphere. To maintain proper social distancing, group music sessions have now become one on one room sessions with Nathan going from room to room to provide classical tunes for all to enjoy.

After spending about a month at The Grove, Cynthia was making tremendous gains in therapy. Ambulating 40 feet upon admission, Cynthia can now ambulate 300 feet with supervision. From doing 0 steps initially, Cynthia can now complete 15 steps. “I’ve got five steps to get into my apartment, now I can go up, down, and back up again in one shot,” shares Cynthia. After sitting together with the Interdisciplinary Team, it was decided that Cynthia is safely ready to go home.

Cynthia’s transportation and Home Health Services were arranged by Social Services and set up for 2/3/21. “There’s a reason why I came back three times, I truly feel like I have another family here,” Cynthia shares.

“We hope to see you again Cynthia!” Kariann the receptionist exclaims to Cynthia as she walks through the lobby with her rolling walker. Jokingly, Cynthia smiles and asks, “As a friend or a patient?” With that, Cynthia blew a kiss to Kariann and walked out the front door.

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Case Study: The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (January 2021)

Patients Age: 75-years-old
Admission Date: 12/28/20
Dishcharge Date: 01/15/21
Discharged To: Home
Reason for Stay: Seizures, AKI, Difficulty in walking


Details of Experience:
Sylvia enjoyed living alone. Growing up with three brothers and two sisters, it was nice to have a bedroom and bathroom to call her own. Sylvia cooked, cleaned, drove, took out the garbage, paid her bills all by herself, and enjoyed having these responsibilities. Her daughter did not live far and spoke with her daily. Sylvia enjoyed it when she visited with her dog, Lily.

Sylvia’s daughter came to visit on Thursday morning and was surprised when there was no answer when she rang the doorbell. Thankfully she had a key to the apartment and was horrified to see Sylvia passed out on the floor. 911 was called and Sylvia was brought to White Plains Hospital and spent the next eight days there. After being treated for seizures, hypertension, and acute kidney injury, Sylvia needed some skilled nursing and rehabilitative services. Her daughter did some online research and chose The Grove at Valhalla.

Sylvia arrived at The Grove on December 28th and was escorted to her room. She was evaluated by all departments to be able to quickly implement her rehabilitation regimen. “I have never been to a Nursing/Rehab Center before and was a bit unsure of how it would go. From the moment the first staff member came to say hello, I knew I was going to be ok,” shares Sylvia.

Sylvia was assessed for OT by Joselito and PT by Tibu. It was determined that she would benefit from skilled rehabilitation, which would include therapeutic exercises, neuromuscular reeducation, wheelchair management, and self-care training. When asked what her goals to be achieved were, Sylvia shared, “to be able to get back to my prior level of function.” With Sylvia’s determination and willpower, her therapy journey began.

Sylvia participated in our therapy program six days a week, “they worked me real good,” Sylvia exclaimed! With eight steps to enter/exit her apartment building, this was something that she was looking to master. Her therapy sessions focused on walking, strength, mobility, gross motor coordination, and of course, the stairs.

Sylvia worked hard for two weeks and felt motivated by the team to continue this momentum to be able to go back home. Completing a tub transfer all by herself, graduating to a rolling walker, and completing eight steps, Sylvia was able to start the discharge process.

“The staff here are kind, respectful, and make you feel at home. I’m excited to go home, but I’m kind of sad to leave,” Sylvia shared. Social Service arranged transportation and home health services that way everything was ready for Sylvia when she arrived home.

After 18 days spent at The Grove, Sylvia walked through the front doors feeling rejuvenated and anew.

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Case Study: The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (October 2020)

Patients Age: 55-years-old
Admission Date: 06/03/20
Admitted From: Westchester Medical Center
Dishcharge Date: 10/29/20
Discharged To: Home
Reason for Stay: Fractured Hip


Details of Experience:
Mr. Murphy was admitted to The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on June 3rd 2020, with an admitting diagnosis of below-the-knee-amputation (BKA). This was his first time in a Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and he was feeling a bit apprehensive, at first. “The second I entered the lobby and took a look at the décor and smelled the sweet scent emanating from the building, I knew I was in the right place.”

Mr. Murphy met with all team members upon admission and discussed care plans and goals he would like to reach. Mr. Murphy was evaluated by his Occupational Therapists who observed him, with a decrease in balance and requiring skilled OT services to assess safety with ADL’s and develop/instruct on compensatory strategies. The Physical Therapy team discussed being able to transfer in and out of bed without side rails. Mr. Murphy always relied on side rails for maneuvering and transferring, but he was ready to overcome his fear of living without them. Mr. Murphy mentioned that there are a few steps to get into his apartment which the therapists took note of and were ready to work on with him.

During his stay at The Grove, Mr. Murphy was introduced to Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler from our signature Amputee Walking School Program, which is exclusive to the Care Rite Centers Network. Todd and Dennis, world-renowned Paralympic Gold Medalists, have mentored over 20,000 amputees worldwide! They have created this program to cater specifically to patients contemplating amputation or have undergone a procedure in the past. Dennis and Todd worked closely with Mr. Murphy, monitoring his progress and keeping in touch by visits to the facility and phone calls. When his prosthesis arrived, Mr. Murphy worked with Moshe, our prosthetist, who helped fit and stabilize his walking and comfort, together with Dennis and Todd.

On October 19th, the Nursing and Rehab teams came to the decision that James would be ready to go home the following week! Mr. Murphy was able to perform bed mobility without the use of side rails and completed commode transfer training. Being able to get dressed, make his bed, don and doff his prosthesis on his own, Mr. Murphy’s OT goals were complete. Mr. Murphy made great progress with PT by being able to ambulate 100 feet on level surfaces and safely ambulating 350 feet using his Bilateral Axillary crutches. Additionally, he ascended/descended 15 stairs with supervision and using handrails.

“It was very encouraging to meet Todd and Dennis. I’m going to be keeping in touch with them and call them when I get home. They were very motivating and now I am able to see how I am going to walk just like them,” Mr. Murphy shared about his experience with Dennis and Todd. “I’m starting to get used to my prosthesis. It’s feeling good and comfortable. It was such a pleasure meeting them.”

Mr. Murphy walked out of The Grove on October 29th, wearing his prosthesis, feeling like a new person. Arriving at The Grove in June with a feeling of doubt and despair, Mr. Murphy discharged with a smile. He expressed tremendous gratitude to the staff for giving him another chance at being able to walk and live independently.

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Case Study: The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (August 2020)

Patients Age: 83-years-old
Admission Date: 07/27/20
Admitted From: Brooklyn Methodist Hospital
Discharged To: Home
Reason for Stay: Fractured Hip
How did this patient hear about The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation and Nursing Center? Referred to The Grove by the team at the Hospital and proximity to family


Details of Experience:
Catherine was enjoying a cup of tea in her living room when she noticed that the pillow on her couch just did not look right. When she got up to fix the pillow, she lost her balance and fell. She was taken to Brooklyn Methodist Hospital where she was diagnosed with a fractured hip. After spending two weeks in the hospital, Nursing and Rehabilitation Services were suggested for Catherine by the Hospital Team. Living alone in Brooklyn with family residing in Westchester County, Catherine and her children investigated different facilities outside of Brooklyn so her children and grandchildren could visit. After searching online and reading reviews, Catherine and her family chose The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

Catherine was admitted to The Grove on July 27, 2020 and was instantly impressed with the beautiful lobby, the view from her room and the friendly greeting from our Receptionist! “I love that I can see trees, gardens, and beautifully manicured lawns from my window,” said Catherine as soon as she entered her room. After being evaluated by the Nursing and Rehabilitation teams, it was time to begin her journey.

Due to decreased ability to perform functional transfers, mobility and decreased independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), Catherine required skilled Occupational Therapy (OT) services to increase strength, safety awareness, balance and independence in ADLs. She was not able to dress or bathe without any assistance, so Catherine set up goals for herself with what she would like to achieve. “I would like to be able to get back to how I was! You know, wake up and go about my day!” Participating in therapy 6 times a week, Catherine worked closely with her therapist Michelle to accomplish her goals.

Catherine currently can walk 16 steps with minimal assistance, and she is ambulating 45 feet with contact guard assist. “Thanks to your staff, I am healing quicker than I ever thought I would! I’m only here for three weeks and I am miles ahead of where I thought I would be!” Catherine has made many friends during her stay at The Grove. Socializing with the other residents and getting to know the staff has really made her experience a positive one. “The therapy is excellent and very important, but I can’t stress enough how unbelievable your staff is. Every single person here as a warmth to them that makes you feel wanted.”

As her discharge date approached, Catherine prepared for life back at home. With all the new friendships she made here at The Grove, she was sad to leave but looking forward to her new chapter at home. “I’ve learnt a few things over these past few weeks. How to get dressed, bathe, walk with a walker, and most importantly- a crooked pillow sitting on the couch is not the end of the world!”

The team at The Grove wishes Catherine all the best!

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Case Study: The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (April 2020)

Patients Age: 70-years-old
Admission Date: 04/22/20
Admitted From: Workmen’s Circle
Discharge Date: 05/20/20
Discharged To: Home
Length of Stay: 28 Days
Reason for Stay: COVID-19, Pneumonia, Acute Coronary Syndrome


Details of Experience:
Ernest’s journey began at his regular weekly dialysis appointment. Standing by the nurse’s station and filling out forms, he felt his body freeze and pain in his chest. He states that the world started spinning around him as he was taken to the ER, and began a month-long arduous process of transfers between various hospitals and nursing facilities. Eventually, he was diagnosed with Pneumonia and confirmed positive for COVID-19. With this diagnosis, he was admitted to The Grove for further treatment.

On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, Ernest was welcomed to The Grove’s community. He was severely limited in function, stating, “I was very weak and couldn’t walk.” Immediately upon admission, he was placed in the COVID unit for safety purposes, until he was cleared of his COVID diagnosis. In order to return to his previous level of function, Ernest required skilled physical and occupational therapy services. He participated in therapy six days a week and cultivated friendships with each one of his therapists. One of his primary objectives was being able to climb a flight of stairs. Though it was a difficult task, he enjoyed the challenge and was able to navigate his own abilities to achieve this feat. Ernest’s therapist, Sandy, shared that he could tub transfer on his own! He was able to complete all his daily living activities with a rolling walker. He performed all functions with supervision.

After three weeks, Ernest reports he is getting back to himself again. He has been under a rigorous regiment of occupational therapy and physical therapy every day. In his words, “They are all great to me, and the exercise is great!” Ernest can finally look forward to going home next week. The team at The Grove is thrilled to see his progress and wished him all the best.

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The Grove at Valhalla Celebrates Heart Health Month!

Our community proudly partnered with Westchester Medical Center, sponsoring an evening of cardiac awareness for over 400 guests in attendance! The elegant evening was in efforts to promote heart health to those in Westchester County and share methods on how to maintain optimal health as we age. Thank you to our partners in care and to those in attendance for joining us for this special evening.

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Case Study: The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (July 2018)

Patients Age: 72
Admission Date: 5/10/18
Admitted From: Burke
Discharge Date: 7/22/18
Discharged To: Home
Length of Stay: 2.5 Months
Reason for Stay: Malignant Neoplasm of Cerebellum (Metastatic Brain Cancer)

Details of Experience:

“You’ll need to use a sliding board to transfer for the rest of your life.” That was the conclusion of many of Dorothy’s physicians and therapists. After months of undergoing treatment for her brain cancer and intense therapy at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, it seemed that Dorothy’s chances to walk again were unrealistic. Dorothy received outstanding treatment from her oncologists, surgeons, and therapists. Both she and her husband enjoyed fulfilling and successful careers and were well-connected to top healthcare providers. However, Dorothy had a long, challenging journey ahead of her.

Once she completed the acute rehab program at Burke, she decided to keep moving forward and asked to be transferred to sub-acute for further rehabilitation and treatment. When Dorothy arrived at The Grove, she was close to flawless with the transfer board. If she would want to continue remaining under sub-acute care, new goals would have to be put in place. On the surface, one can mistake Dorothy’s easy going and pleasant nature as “giving up or being lazy.” Behind her passive demeanor, there was a force of stoicism and hopeful spirit, that with continuous therapy and care, would overcome the side effects of brain cancer. Dorothy was determined to fight.

Therapeutic success isn’t measured by the number of steps one can take or the time frame needed to complete the goals. We measure success against the unique challenges one faces. For the first few weeks, Dorothy required the use of a standing frame machine to support her lower body and knees, allowing her to begin bearing weight in her legs. After a few weeks of committed and consistent therapy, Dorothy was able to be on the machine for a continuous half hour. She then upgraded to the light gait machine, a device that uses a harness to support the lower body, removing one’s weight when walking. This helped her develop elasticity and movement in her lower body and begin building more muscles in her legs.

The turning point for Dorothy was when she was succeeding at the floor mat exercises. Combined with improved core and lower body strength, Dorothy was to able hold a bridge position and other difficult positions for an impressive amount of time. The small gains boosted her spirits and faith that perpetual hard work, commitment, and training can in-fact beat the odds. Dorothy was also given exercises to help improve her upper body strength, which she often did on her own and with the help and support of family. In her final month, Dorothy was walking with the support of her therapist and was later gifted with a walker.

Dorothy was constantly surrounded by loving family and community members, and her staff served as her coaches and cheerleaders. Dorothy’s spirit and stoicism spoke louder than words and her results reflected two and a half months of intense and continuous therapy. With a humbling smile and upright back, Dorothy walked out of The Grove.

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Case Study: The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (June 2018)

Patients Age: 76
Admission Date: 3/13/18
Admitted From: Burke
Discharge Date: 6/23/18
Discharged To: Home
Length of Stay: 3 Months
Reason for Stay: Tracheostomy, Heart Failure, Presence of Heart Assistance Device – Left Ventricular Assist Device, End Stage Renal Disease (Acute Kidney Failure)

Details of Experience:

On March 7th, Diana arrived at The Grove for a tour. She was impressed with the new beautiful renovations, cheeriness of the staff, and the state-of-the-art gym with the most up-to-date equipment. But her primary questions revolved around the ability of our medical, nursing, and rehabilitation departments to address the complicated medical needs of her father, Charles, a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) patient.

At the young age of twenty, Charles immigrated from Europe to the United States. Within a surprising few short years, he built for himself a lucrative construction company. By the age of thirty, he was married with four children. Charles spoke one language – dedication and grit. Providing for his family and earning an honest living was his life and nothing could stop him. But he did have to slow down, at age sixty, he suffered a massive heart attack. His medical condition required him to change his lifestyle, but not his attitude. This was another challenge and obstacle life presented to him that he was determined to beat. If a failing heart is not challenging enough, Charles also required dialysis treatment three times a week as his kidneys failed him too.

When Charles arrived at The Grove, he was already fifteen years into his battle, a fight against a failing heart. In 2016, Charles had a left ventricular assist device inserted into his heart (LVAD); his heart cannot function on its own. It’s very common for patients with an LVAD to display feelings of depression and grief, the dependency on an electrical device to survive can feel demoralizing and hopeless. But Charles is different. His family is different.

Charles is well-known at Westchester Medical Center’s cardiac unit. He’s been receiving medical treatment there for over a dozen years. Despite the years of needing treatment, he made it clear from the first day, “I’m not a patient, I’m a father and business owner and I will return home.”

One can only admire his stubbornness and resilience. Charles has little pity for himself and does not need anyone else’s either. In his first month, Charles demonstrated great commitment in the gym and his therapists were pleased with the therapeutic progress he was making. His muscles and core were getting stronger, but his medical condition was beginning to decline. After one month, Charles had to be re-hospitalized. On top of a failing heart and kidney, Charles was having respiratory trouble. The attending physicians were worried, his lungs were failing, too. Charles was placed on a ventilator until he was stabilized, and his new tracheostomy would be left indefinitely.

Charles’s came back with a new set of challenges. He was our first patient to have an LVAD and a trach (and require dialysis). Having a successful therapeutic outcome with either, is astonishing, let along both. For the very first time, Charles asked himself, “Will I ever be able to return home?” Not accepting defeat, but reality. Both Charles and his family agreed that the question would have to be put on hold, the focus now was to get better as much as possible. The team of physical and occupational therapists along with the respiratory, nursing and medical team, revised his goals and care plans.

The initial goal was not whether he will be able to return home or not, but how long can he live? Will he ever be medically stable? Small goals are what we agreed to focus on. Physically, he was weak and couldn’t carry his own weight. He needed assistance with transfers and support while standing. Six days a week he received therapy and those were his happiest moments. Slowly, his strength and stability were increasing. For the following month, his therapists worked on his lower body strength and the medical team treated his respiratory needs and stabilizing his condition. As he was improving, he was slowly returning to himself and his commitment to “return home and live to see his first grandchild get married.”

Charles and his family revisited the conversation of the possibility of returning home. His children and wife couldn’t have been more supportive and understood, that returning home would require lifestyle changes on their end too. His wife would need to feel confident managing his care and assist with his tracheostomy care at home. In his final weeks, Charles was the happiest and hardest working man in the gym. His team of therapists tailored his exercises to functional and basic skills he’ll need to return home safely. The social worker coordinated the home care services, equipment and the additional nursing care he would require, while the medical and nursing team helped train his wife on tracheostomy care. It was the first time we succeeded in discharging a patient with a tracheostomy (either we succeed in weaning the patient off the trach or the patient ends up requiring long-term care).

Never have we seen a patient leave with such triumph and pride, “I told you I will return home.” That was the biggest “thank you” the staff could ever hear. We knew that his return home was truly the collective efforts of the entire team here at The Grove and the hospital along with his wife and family and his inner strength and commitment to live life at his own terms.

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