No Place Like Home

By Kindred Healthcare

Therapists and Staff at Hanover Terrace Help a Patient Work Toward the Goal of Getting Back Home

Carolyn Athanas is looking forward to getting back to the home she left nearly five months ago. She’s looking forward to seeing her dog and to assessing the damage done to what has unintentionally become her husband’s man cave these last few months. And with the help of her caregivers at Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation – Hanover Terrace, she plans to get there within the month.

When Carolyn arrived at Hanover Terrace back in March, she couldn’t stand, walk or even move around in her bed without maximal assistance. Now, she can walk up to 80 feet without rest, can get out of her wheelchair with some assistance and can sit on the edge of her bed, all huge milestones in an arduous recovery process that has included six to seven days of occupational and physical therapy per week.


 Carolyn and John Kluge, PTA Carolyn and John Kluge, PTA


“Carolyn is one of the most motivated patients I have ever worked with,” said John Kluge, PTA, Carolyn’s RehabCare physical therapist. “She is eager to get home and we are eager to get her home.”

Carolyn, a mother of two grown children and one step-daughter, had just gotten back from a routine doctor’s appointment in March when she found herself unable to climb the steps to her house. At the acute care hospital, doctors discovered complete renal failure; she was released to Hanover Terrace only to become gravely ill during a dialysis treatment which led to a return to the acute care hospital. Weeks later, she returned to Hanover Terrace, where she lost about 100 pounds, worked tirelessly with her therapists, and within a couple of months, got the news that her kidneys were functioning once again.

Now, the reward is on the horizon.

“When she came here, she was essentially dependent for everything,” said A. J. Miltner, MS, OTR, Carolyn’s RehabCare occupational therapist. “She’s done phenomenally. Her attitude is phenomenal.”

The admiration is mutual.

“They don’t give themselves enough credit,” Carolyn said. “A lot of the motivation comes from them. They make you want to work for it, like a good teacher.”

Carolyn has been working with A.J. on her activities of daily living, or ADLs, which will soon include getting in and out of the car and cooking for herself.

In addition to her positive attitude, realistic expectations have been key, A.J. said.

“She’s been accepting of limitations, but her driving goal has been to get back home.”

Carolyn has some choice, tongue-in-cheek words for her therapists John and A.J., who she calls her “drill sergeants.” She’s been pleased with the care she has received at Hanover Terrace.

“By the time they bring me back to my bed, I’m usually not that happy with them,” she joked. “But everyone here has been nothing but great to me.”

Carolyn and John Kluge, PYA