Left to right: Romel Salcedo, physical therapist assistant; Dick Atagi; and Lilian Aceves, occupational therapist assistant

A bout of pneumonia left Dick Atagi weak and in need of rehabilitation.


Atagi came to La Habra Convalescent Hospital in La Habra, California, on Aug. 19, 2019, needing total assistance with bathing and dressing and extensive assistance with bed mobility, standing balance and transfers (such as getting in and out of bed).


Five days a week, Atagi participated in physical and occupational therapies. PT worked on leg strengthening and bed mobility, and therapists trained him how to use an ankle/foot orthosis. They also worked with him on getting in and out of a car, walking and going up and down stairs.


OT worked with Atagi on his activities of daily living, teaching him how to use adaptive equipment to maximize his independence. They incorporated gardening into his therapy so he could practice functional skills like standing, reaching and fine motor movements while he took part in his favorite hobby.


“Rehab here is great!” said Atagi. “All the therapists are nice, and I look forward to working with them every day. They helped me get better each day.”


Atagi can now get around with supervision and is also at a supervision level for bathing and dressing. He has made progress in all areas and was able to return home on Oct. 10.