The Four Stages of Physical Therapy at a Skilled Nursing Community

Physical therapy may be necessary after experiencing an injury, surgery or limitations due to a health condition. Although the specific exercises, rehabilitation techniques and length of rehabilitation will vary from person to person based on individual needs, the overall process of physical therapy can be broken down into four phases. In this article, we describe what you can expect during the four phases of physical therapy at a skilled nursing community. 

1.) Acute Phase

The first phase focuses on reducing pain and inflammation. Depending on the condition, injury, or surgery, this can be achieved through a combination of manual therapy, modalities and activity modification. In almost all situations, early mobility is the key to a speedy recovery. Physical therapy often starts just hours after a surgery! The human body is made to move, and these early efforts can have a long-term positive impact on the negative toll immobility can have on the human body.

2.) Intermediate Phase

During this stage, physical therapy will begin to turn up just a little. Your physical therapist begins working to recover your movement and mobility. Treatment sessions will start becoming more individualized and challenging as you will start to see progress toward achieving functional levels of strength, range of motion and general mobility.

3.) Function and Activity

As strength, range of motion, and confidence increase, you will progress to phase three! This phase is where physical therapy shines. This stage is all about function. Your therapist will gradually build on your individualized plan with a focus on your functional goals. Progress in this phase will not be as rapid as the previous two. Therapy will balance the delicate nature of duration, intensity, technique and response to increase your ability to perform daily activities required for your return home.

4.) Maintenance and Prevention

Therapy is a journey. The road to complete recovery does not end here. Your physical therapist will provide a specialized home program based on your progress. Continuing an active lifestyle improves your physical and mental health and plays a crucial role in general health and wellness.

Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services provides physical therapy, along with occupational and speech therapy, at each of our 39 locations across North and South Carolina. To find a location near you or to request a free consultation, visit our website or call 800-999-9883.

How Skilled Nursing Communities Care for Residents with High Blood Pressure

As we age, we are more prone to developing hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure. In fact, the CDC estimates nearly half of the adults in the United States have hypertension. Individuals with hypertension are at a greater risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the U.S. That is why staff at skilled care communities are trained to provide specialized care to residents who have high blood pressure.  

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is when the blood forcefully pushes against the arterial walls. It causes harm by making the heart and blood vessels work harder and less efficiently. Over time, the force and friction of high blood pressure damages the delicate tissues inside the arteries and forms plaque along tiny tears in the artery walls. The more damage that is caused increases the risk for stroke, vision loss, heart failure, heart attack and kidney disease.

Diagnosing High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is referred to as a “silent killer” because most of the time there are no obvious symptoms. Measuring your blood pressure is the only way to know if you have a problem. 

A normal blood pressure reading is around 120/80. This chart from the American Heart Association details blood pressure numbers and what they mean: 

High blood pressure can develop because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking or not getting enough regular exercise. Health conditions like diabetes and obesity can also increase the risk of developing hypertension. 

How Skilled Nursing Communities Treat High Blood Pressure

Skilled care providers know following a healthy lifestyle can help keep blood pressure levels in check. To ensure residents maintain a safe and normal blood pressure level, providers will:

  • Monitor blood pressure levels on a regular basis 
  • Engage residents in regular physical activity
  • Provide physical therapy if necessary
  • Serve nutritious meals that cut down on salt intake
  • Administer any prescribed medication
  • Consult specialists when required

Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services offers 39 skilled care communities across North and South Carolina that provide specialized care to residents who have high blood pressure. To learn more about our communities and the services we provide, request a free consultation by filling out our online form or calling us at (800) 999-9883.

Shoreland Health Care and Retirement Center Becomes a Center of Excellence for On-Site Wound Care

Quality Surgical Management (QSM) certified Shoreland Health Care and Retirement Center as a Center of Excellence for On-Site Wound Care. This means residents can receive wound care at Shoreland, in the comfort of their own room, instead of being transported to the hospital for treatment.

Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation’s Whiteville skilled care community established itself as a Center of Excellence by offering superior quality and outcomes-focused wound care programs. 

To achieve this special designation, Shoreland met the following criteria:

  • Shoreland has a dedicated QSM Wound Certified Nurse on-site 5 days a week
  • Shoreland has a QSM provider managing all wounds in the building
  • Shoreland hosts regular internal team meetings with a focus on quality and process improvement (QAPI)

Shoreland’s goal is provide residents with the best quality of life possible. For residents receiving wound care, this means doing everything possible to assure fast healing while reducing the need for trips to the hospital.

“Shoreland’s clinical team strives for excellence every day,” said Roxanne Thompson, Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation’s Vice President of Operations. “This is one of many examples of why we are so proud of their dedication to quality of care. The leadership team at Shoreland ensures the nurses have additional education and partnerships with community resources to provide specialized care for those we serve. In this case, advanced techniques in wound care for quality outcomes. The added benefit and confidence to our residents and loved ones of being recognized as a QSM Center of Excellence is the ability of our nurses to provide on-site, advanced wound care services without the disruption of travel outside of our community for healing. This enhancement to our services at Shoreland allows us to expand our ability to provide specialized wound care for those in our community who very much are in need.” 

For more information about Shoreland’s wound care services, call (910) 642-4300 or visit our website.

How Physical Therapy Helps Improve Balance

Good balance is one of the most important building blocks of being able to safely move and perform activities of daily living. Without good balance, you are more likely to fall and seriously injure yourself. That is why balance training is a key aspect of physical therapy.

Signs of Balance Problems

A balance problem exists if someone has difficulty keeping a stable and upright body position, whether moving or staying still. Some causes of balance problems include muscle weakness, joint stiffness, decreased movement, inner ear problems, lack of physical activity or too much sitting. Balance problems can also arise due to medical conditions like stroke, arthritis, diabetes, cognitive diseases, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. 

A person with balance problems may experience teetering when trying to stand up, staggering, tripping, swaying or stumbling when walking, dizziness or vertigo, lightheadedness or blurred vision. 

Some people do not have any static balance issues, meaning they can sit or stand still and accomplish one task at a time. Problems with dynamic balance are more likely. An example of dynamic balance is when someone moves about or tries to do more than one thing at a time, such as walking while turning their head, bending and reaching for an object or walking in a poorly lit area. If a person’s static or dynamic balance is abnormal, physical therapy can help.

Benefits of Good Balance 

The most beneficial aspect of good balance is injury prevention. When you improve your balance, you are less likely to fall.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one out of four adults 65 and older falls each year. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again. Falls can cause broken bones, fractures and head injuries. Working on balance skills can significantly reduce the chances of falling in the first place. 

Being afraid of falling because of balance issues can also affect someone’s physical and mental well-being. They may avoid physical activity altogether, which can lead to more muscle weakness and balance problems. A person can also become frustrated by not being able to do certain activities, which can lead to depression. 

How Physical Therapy Helps Improve Balance

Physical therapy is all about improving strength, range of motion and balance to help people regain their independence and confidence after an injury, surgery or hospital stay due to an illness. Our physical therapists at Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services work on movements and exercises that strengthen the core and other key muscle groups associated with balance. 

Our physical therapists assess each person to see what areas of movement, strength, coordination, visual tracking and balance may need improvement. They will then create a tailored plan of care to help the individual reach their balance and other healthcare goals.

Beyond exercises, they will also help people assess potential problems with footwear and hazards in their home that could be a fall risk. Hazards can include loose rugs, poor lighting and other obstacles.

At Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services, our overall goal is to help each individual improve their mobility, strength, movement, flexibility and posture so they can have more control over their balance. This will help them reduce their fear of falling and increase their overall activity level.

We are here to help you reach your balance goals and better your health. Contact us today to set up a free consultation by calling 800-999-9883 or using our online form.

What to Expect When Touring Our Skilled Nursing Communities

We know it is not an easy decision to move out of your home or to help a loved one make the transition to long-term care. That is why we want to help everyone involved find a skilled nursing community that best fits their needs for comfort and care. Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services offers 39 skilled nursing communities throughout North and South Carolina. This article will detail what you can expect when you visit one of our communities.

Meet Our Staff and Interdisciplinary Care Team

During your visit, we will introduce you to our staff members, including our interdisciplinary care team. We want you to get a feel for who we are so you feel confident that you or a loved one will be well-taken care of. Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services encourages prospective residents and their families to ask any questions you may have so we can answer them thoroughly or address any concerns.

Tour the Building 

A member of our staff will take you through the areas of our community where our residents spend their time, while detailing the amenities, services and social activities we offer. They will also detail what a typical day at Liberty looks like. Below are some of the areas you will see while touring our communities:

  • Dining area
  • Private and semi-private rooms
  • Common areas
  • Therapy gym
  • Beauty salon
  • Outdoor gathering areas

If you are unable to tour a building in person, many of our communities have virtual tours available online. 

Discuss Payment Options

During your visit, we can also breakdown the cost of living at one of our locations and what payment options are available. 

To learn more about one of our locations or to schedule a tour, visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-999-9883.

Why Choose Liberty for Physical, Occupational or Speech Therapy

Physical, occupational or speech therapy can help you or your loved one recover after surgery, a serious illness or injury. Therapy is a pivotal time in the healing process and requires patience, strength, and a strong support team. Our Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services team can be the support system you need to help you reach your healthcare goals on your road to recovery. Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services recognizes everyone’s healthcare journey is different and we can accommodate your personal preference for how you would like to receive care.

Short-Term Rehabilitation at Liberty 

With 38 locations across North and South Carolina, Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services provides conveniently located rehabilitation communities for you or a loved one to receive quality care close to home. While staying at one of our communities, a plan of care will be developed for your recovery. Care plans are individualized to meet your specific needs and goals. Other amenities include spacious private and semi-private suites, daily nutritional meals, complimentary internet and cable, specialized activities and access to 24-hour skilled nursing care.

Outpatient Therapy with Liberty

If you are more inclined to stay in the comfort of your own home or as you transition back to your home, many of our rehabilitation communities also offer outpatient therapy. For your convenience, you can visit us on your scheduled rehabilitation times each week and return home when you’re finished. Often, we'll provide you with exercises to do at home to improve your recovery. 

Enhanced Therapy Services at Liberty

Many of our rehabilitation communities have a Well-Equipped Therapy Gym with an Activities of Daily Living Suite to help you work on skills like washing dishes or doing laundry. Enhanced therapy services also include diathermy and ultrasound to assist with decreasing pain, e-stimulation to support improved joint movement and muscle strength and vital stimulation to promote better swallowing. When you are engaged in these enhanced services, you have a more positive experience during your regular therapy sessions.

Request a free consultation to learn more, or schedule a consultation by calling 800-999-9883.

September is National Disease Literacy Month

September marks National Disease Literacy Month, which aims to improve a person’s overall understanding of their diagnosis and the services available to assist them with their care.

As a provider of skilled nursing care for a variety of conditions, Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services knows just how important it is to fully educate someone about their health. Education gives people more control over their overall healthcare by giving them the tools they need to manage and improve their health.

Importance of Disease Literacy

For those who suffer a chronic disease, knowing as much information as possible about their condition is especially important. Most chronic illnesses do not fix themselves and are generally not cured completely. Some can be immediately life-threatening, such as heart disease and stroke. Others linger over time and need intensive management, such as diabetes. Most chronic illnesses persist throughout a person’s life, such as arthritis.

Knowing the best way to manage these conditions through therapy, medication, diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes can immensely improve someone’s quality of life. By providing all the information about the condition, treatment, and prognosis, it’s possible for individuals to make the best choice for them. 


How Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Can Help

Upon admission to any of our 38 skilled nursing care communities, our clinical team will ensure each resident and their family have all the information they need to make informed decisions about their health as a complete care plan is developed. This thorough education will help individuals understand the full spectrum of skilled nursing and therapy services available for their care. 

Contact us today to discuss our services by calling 800-999-9883 or use our online consultation request form.


Shoreland Health Care and Retirement Center Continues to Achieve Five-Star Quality Rating


Shoreland Health Care and Retirement Center Continues to Achieve Five-Star Quality Rating 

Shoreland Health Care and Retirement Center once again earned a Five-Star Quality Rating – the highest rating possible on the scale dictated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 

The CMS created the Nursing Home Five-Star Quality Rating System to help potential residents, their families and caregivers compare skilled nursing communities.

The overall quality rating is determined by three sources of information: health inspections, staffing and quality measures. 

  1. Health Inspections: The health inspection rating uses the three most recent health inspections and any investigations due to complaints. Trained, objective inspectors visit each location to determine if the facility meets Medicaid and Medicare’s quality requirements.
  2. Staffing: The staffing rating is determined by the average number of hours staff provide care to each resident each day and data regarding staffing turnover. 
  3. Quality Measures: The quality measures rating involves 15 different aspects of a facility’s performance in certain areas of care.

Shoreland’s Five-Star Quality Rating was achieved by a team whose goal is to continuously evaluate potential areas of improvement and growth to provide the highest quality of care to residents.

“Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services is extremely grateful and proud of the caring team at Shoreland Health Care and Retirement Center for their continued designation by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as a Five-Star Quality Rated skilled nursing community,” said Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services President Paul Babinski. “Likewise, we are even more excited to know those entrusted to our care are receiving five-star level service. This designation is a wonderful validation of the care and compassion provided by this dedicated team. Quality care reflected through validated quality outcomes and favorable regulatory survey results all combine to achieve this Five-Star Quality Rating.”

Located in Whiteville, North Carolina, Shoreland provides a complete continuum of care, including short-term rehabilitation, long-term living, outpatient therapy, hospice care, palliative care and respite care services.

Diabetes Management and Why It's So Important

Diabetes management involves maintaining normal glucose levels through consistent monitoring, medication, diet and lifestyle. Many factors can make blood sugar levels change, making diabetes care an important aspect of the skilled nursing services we provide at Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services. 

Our care team is trained to carefully monitor, record and analyze blood sugar levels and can intervene as necessary to ensure glucose levels remain in a safe range. 


Dangers of Poorly Controlled Diabetes 

Diabetes, when poorly managed, can cause your loved one to have extreme highs and lows in terms of blood sugar levels. With extremely low blood sugar levels, your loved one may become nervous, anxious, irritable or begin to shake. Fainting and a rapid heartbeat are possible as well. 

On the other hand, your loved one may feel fatigued, become nauseated or experience shortness of breath when his or her blood sugar levels rise. 

When diabetes is left unmanaged, your loved one may suffer from heart, kidney or vision problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a diabetic is twice as likely to have a stroke or heart disease as someone without diabetes.


How Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services Can Help 

First and foremost, anyone who works directly with your loved one has some level of diabetes training. For instance, our nurses are well-versed in diabetes management. They know how to evaluate your loved one’s blood sugar, administer insulin based on your loved one’s prescription and provide your loved one with the proper medication. Our nurses are trained to intervene accordingly to abnormal blood sugar levels. Additionally, we keep accurate records and routinely analyze them. 

Both aides and nurses receive training on recognizing the signs that sugar levels are too high or too low. A nurse will then respond as necessary to get your loved one back on track. 

Diet also plays a role in diabetes management. Our dietary team is familiar with the proper diet that can help individuals with diabetes regulate their blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight. You can feel confident knowing your loved one is receiving a diet, including meals and snacks, with blood sugar control in mind. 

Physical activity and exercise are important aspects of diabetes management as well. Our physical therapy team can help your loved one stay active and receive proper exercise within their functional abilities. 

Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services understands the dangers of uncontrolled or inadequately controlled diabetes and we take every step necessary to prevent short and long-term complications for your loved one. 

Discover more about our skilled nursing and rehabilitation services by calling 1-800-999-9883 or by using our convenient online form. We are ready to greet your loved one with a smiling face and provide him or her with the care he or she deserves, including diabetes management!

Five Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Facilities Achieve National Recognition


Pisgah Manor at Pisgah Valley Retirement Community achieved a 2022 Silver National Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The award is the second of three distinctions possible through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program, which recognizes providers across the nation that have demonstrated improved quality outcomes for staff, residents and individuals with disabilities in long-term and post-acute care. Pisgah Manor is one of only 46 facilities throughout the country to receive this distinguished silver award.

Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Columbus County, Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Johnston County, Warren Hills Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and Louisburg Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center earned a Bronze National Quality Award. 

I applaud these facilities for reaching this important milestone in their quality journey,” said the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board Chair Tammy Kelly. “This achievement celebrates the commitment and fortitude of these facilities to find ways to enhance the lives of their residents and staff.”

The five facilities join a growing list of Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation locations across North Carolina that have achieved this honor, showing their commitment to quality care.

Our Silver National Quality Award Recipients Now Include:

Capital Nursing and Rehabilitation in Raleigh, NC

Pisgah Manor at Pisgah Valley Retirement Community in Candler, NC 

Shoreland Health Care and Retirement Center in Whiteville, NC 

The Pavilion Health Center at Brightmore in Charlotte, NC

The Inn at Quail Haven in Pinehurst, NC

Our Bronze National Quality Award Recipients Now Include:

Bradley Creek Health Center at Carolina Bay in Wilmington, NC 

Elizabethtown Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Elizabethtown, NC

Golden Years Nursing Home in Falcon, NC 

Liberty Commons Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington, NC 

Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Alamance County in Burlington, NC 

Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Columbus County in Whiteville, NC

Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Halifax County in Weldon, NC

Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Johnston County in Benson, NC

Louisburg Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Louisburg, NC 

Royal Park of Matthews Rehabilitation and Health Center in Matthews, NC 

Summerstone Health and Rehabilitation Center in Kernersville, NC 

Three Rivers Health and Rehabilitation Center in Windsor, NC 

The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge in Blowing Rock, NC 

Warren Hills Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Warrenton, NC

Yadkin Nursing Center in Yadkinville, NC 

The prestigious awards are part of a rigorous process that evaluates long-term and post-acute care providers against nationally recognized standards. The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is one of the most comprehensive performance assessments for providers to know where they stand based on the Baldridge Criteria for Performance Excellence. 

Bronze recipients must demonstrate a groundwork for excellence by completing a self-assessment that outlays their organizational priorities and goals.

Silver recipients must outline their systematic approaches and demonstrate sustainable results linked to their key customer requirements, success factors and challenges. 

Trained experts spend more than 100 hours reviewing each application. Applicants then receive an objective written assessment detailing their strengths and opportunities for improvement. The application process itself provides an opportunity for internal assessment and team building.

The awards will be presented during the AHCA/NCAL’s 73rd Convention & Expo in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 9-12, 2022.