Left to right: Abbey Hill, occupational therapy student; Valeria Tuschoff; and Allison Nussbaum, occupational therapist

Valeria Tuschhoff, of Jackson, Missouri, is one of those people who routinely helps others.


At 82, Tuschhoff volunteers at the family information desk in the surgery department at nearby St. Francis Medical Center; she works one day a week dispensing food at the Jackson Food Pantry; and she cooks for funeral dinners at Emmanual United Church of Christ, where she’s been a member for 60 years. She has also been a member of the Jackson City Council, Aging Matters senior service board and the Mental Health Tax Board.


Tuschhoff recently had the opportunity to be on the receiving end of some help. She had just gone outside to get the newspaper and was walking to her chair when she stepped on a bone one of the two dogs at her house had been chewing on.


“I hit that with my bare foot, and I just went down,” Tuschhoff said. “I broke my hip.”


After surgery, Tuschhoff came to Life Care Center of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, for inpatient rehab therapy.


“I always heard this was the best place to do therapy,” Tuschhoff said. “They did a wonderful job.”


Tuschhoff received physical and occupational therapy at Life Care. Therapists used resistance bands, a balance ball and other exercises to help her improve balance and strength. She also learned how to use aids like a sock-aid reacher and dressing stick and a leg lifter for getting her left leg in and out of bed.


“She rehabbed really well,” said Allison Nussbaum, occupational therapist. “She was highly motivated, and she was willing to tolerate any pain that she had because she wanted to go home really quickly.”


In less than two weeks, on Nov. 19, 2017, Tuschhoff was back at home with her dogs, but continued to do outpatient therapy at Life Care to further her progress in independence.