Just a few weeks into her physical therapy sessions, Shell Knob senior Rita Goodhead threw in the towel. “It was just too much driving back and forth to Berryville,” she said. “I really thought I could do it all by myself here at home.”
Goodhead, who volunteers at Central Crossing Senior Center, planned to use exercise equipment at that facility to help her recover from surgery. “But I didn’t have the right supervision and eventually gave up.” And so do many others in the community known for its aging population.
“That kind of travel really takes a toll on your physical makeup,” Goodhead added. “And it leaves you in a tough spot financially. I feel sorry for others who have no choice but to make that trip.” But soon, fewer seniors will face that challenge. As part of an expansion project, Central Crossing Senior Center invited Mercy to team up.
“We conducted a survey there and realized the biggest need, by far, was physical therapy,” said Chris Hoge, director of therapy services at Mercy. “Considering our closest facilities offering PT are in Berryville and Cassville, about an hour round trip, it made sense to team up with Central Crossing.”
Through a lease agreement in a new section of the senior center, Mercy will begin offering therapy services on July 8. The new facility will be staffed each Wednesday by a physical therapist and volunteer, and will include a private room and exercise equipment for physical therapy, evaluations and treatment. In order to utilize the services, patients will first need to consult a doctor.
“We’ll be able to treat orthopedic patients – such as those with knee, hip or shoulder replacements – and patients needing neurological rehab,” Hoge said. “We also hope to one day expand services and hours. Judging by the response so far, we’re going to be able to help a lot of people.”
“Mercy will be doing such a good service for this community,” Goodhead added. “If services like this were available when I had my operation, I would’ve made it my priority to get in there and take care of my health. This is truly a blessing for us all.”