Jerry Burmeister with (left to right): Mary Hensley, occupational therapist; Jenny Howard, physical therapist assistant; and Neil Melvin, occupational therapist assistant

Jerry Burmeister, a 77-year-old retired nurse anesthetist, came to Life Care Center of Morehead, Kentucky, on Dec. 20, 2017, after a five-day hospital stay for congestive heart failure.


His condition resulted in weakness and decreased ability to walk and perform functional transfers. When he arrived at Life Care Center of Morehead, he needed to use a stand-up lift for transfers in/out of bed. He was weak with poor sitting balance, only able to tolerate sitting in a Broda chair for 30 minutes.


Although Burmeister started off very weak, he had something going in his favor.


“He was highly motivated as soon as he came through the door, ready to work hard and get back home,” said Heather Workman, director of rehab.


Burmeister received physical and occupational therapy services five days a week, working on improving the strength, endurance and balance he needed to return home safely with his wife. 


He especially enjoyed the Omnicycle exercise machine and increasing his resistance and time. He wanted to improve each day.


Within three weeks of his admission, Burmeister was walking 60 feet using a platform walker and someone holding on to him for balance. He transitioned into his personal power chair and was up most of the day socializing with staff with good sitting balance. He no longer needed a stand lift and transferred with standby assistance using his walker.


On Jan. 10, 2018, Burmeister accomplished his goal and returned home with his wife.


“They helped me regain my strength and independence,” said Burmeister. “I’m very thankful and ready to be home.”