Rehabilitation Team Works to Restore and Maintain Function

At Lutheran SeniorLife, our dedicated Rehabilitation Team goes above and beyond to provide exceptional care and support to our community. With a team of more than 100 talented and compassionate employees, their goal is to restore or maintain function for residents and participants within Lutheran SeniorLife as well as the outside community.

The team consists of Physical Therapists (PTs), Occupational Therapists (OTs), Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs), Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs), Speech Language Pathologists, Therapy Techs and administrative assistants.

“The ‘Re’ in ‘rehab’ explains the goals of therapy, to get people back to where they were pre-injury, pre-orthopedic or neurological event or before declining health,” explains Christine Namey, Rehab Director-Outpatient & Home Health. “The goal also includes not only getting them to their preinjury or illness state, but to maintain the highest level of function possible to improve their level of care for aging in place.”

The therapy team provides therapy based on need to include: long-term and short-term inpatient therapy, outpatient therapy, and in-home therapy. In addition to these services, they also can provide aqua therapy in the pool at Passavant Community and group fitness classes.

The rehabilitation team has achieved great success by implementing innovative programs, resulting in numerous impressive outcomes that effectively cater to the needs of our facilities and residents.

One such program is the Self-care Program at Newhaven Court. This program offers residents the assistance of COTAs with a focus on activities of daily living (ADL) five days a week. The emphasis turns towards improving their self-care skills with a goal towards these individuals living more independently rather than a dependent living arrangement.

The Wellness Home in Butler has emerged as another triumph for the rehabilitation team. This program caters to participants of the LIFE program who are short-term residents with the ability to receive round-the-clock care, with COTAs available from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M.

“This program’s success lies in the residents’ ability to engage in activities of daily living throughout the entire day,” explains Amy Olsen, Rehab Director of LIFE Programs and Staffing, as well as a Physical Therapist. “It has proven to be highly functional and practical.”

This unique model, developed by Lutheran SeniorLife’s Rehab team, was shared at a national conference in Seattle due to its success.

The GSC team actively pursues grants to support new programs that help clients fulfill their specific needs, ensuring their overall health and success.

One such program they have implemented is a Nordic walking poles program, which promotes many positive health benefits for the body. Partnering with local educational institutions, like the University of Pittsburgh, they conduct research studies on various programs focused on individuals maintaining mobile and independent without falls. This partnership helps foster a collaborative learning environment between therapist and assistant students.

GCS also has a strong low vision program, catering to individuals with visual impairments.

The team takes pride in their numerous success stories, as they approach each individual with a plan specific to their needs and limitations. Whether it involves a long-term debilitated client with Parkinson’s or an individual experiencing general weakness or decline after a hospital stay, the team carefully formulates a comprehensive plan to ensure their safety, foster independence, and assist them in reaching their maximum rehabilitation potential.

These rewards are life-altering for the clients, but the therapists are also rewarded when they see progress, knowing they played a part in their success.

“The best part of my job,” says Namey, “is obtaining the little things that make such a difference in people’s lives.”

For more information about GCS and their care services, contact Christine Namey at