Left to right: Jamie Cochrane, physical therapist; Allison Nussbaum, occupational therapist; Marlin Buelow; and Tyler Majors, physical therapist

When Marlin Buelow came to Life Care Center of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, after surgery for spinal stenosis in the lumbar region of his back, he knew exactly what he needed to do.


“My grandson is a doctor of physical therapy, so he clued me in on what this was going to be like and what I would need to do,” said the 80-year-old Vietnam veteran. “It’s been grueling but effective. By the time I’d get back to my room, I was tired, but you only get out of it what you put into it, so I always tried to do my best.”


Arriving at Life Care Center of Cape Girardeau on Dec. 12, 2017, Buelow received physical, occupational and speech therapies, but his therapy progress was more challenging because of arthritis in his left knee.


“He had a lot of pain in his knee, but his core strength and leg strength came back quickly with walking,” said Tyler Cochrane, physical therapist.


Cochrane worked with Buelow on balance, functional stair climbing, walking with carrying and exercising on the BioStep and with ankle weights and leg bands.


“When he came in, Mr. Buelow was a two-assist for transfers and dressing,” said Allison Nussbaum, occupational therapist. “He really progressed a lot. He was able to do all of that himself by the time he left.”


Buelow returned home on Jan. 24, 2018. He described his stay as “quite enjoyable, other than I miss my wife.”


“All the therapists here are the best,” he added. “It’s amazing that they can do what they do to help people.”