Getting back in the swing of things with short-term rehab

Joe Arahill was anxious to get back in the swing of things.

With that motivation, the avid golfer was back on the links after only 15 sessions in Christian Health Care Center’s outpatient short-term rehab program following a total shoulder replacement.

“My goal for rehab was to get back on the golf course as quickly and safely as possible,” says the active 82-year-old Wyckoff resident. “I played 18 holes the first time I went out after surgery. My shoulder feels wonderful, thanks to Christian Health Care Center and my orthopedic surgeon, James Cahill, MD.”

A football injury in college was the root of Mr. Arahill’s shoulder pain. While attending Catawba College in North Carolina, he tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder during play.

“Dr. Cahill surgically repaired the tear several years ago. He told me that eventually I would need a shoulder replacement,” says Mr. Arahill, a former Marine.

After college, he married his wife Elizabeth, and the couple moved to Wyckoff. Raising three children, golfing, and tending to their acre of property kept Mr. Arahill on the go. After owning his own IT consulting company for nearly 50 years, he tried retirement. That didn’t fit his lifestyle.

“I got bored,” Mr. Arahill says. “I like working with people. I like doing something and accomplishing something every day, so I decided to utilize by years of experience and consult with companies in the area of processes re-engineering.”

By this time, shoulder pain was impacting daily activities. Surgery was scheduled, and outpatient rehab prescribed. As an “alumni” of inpatient short-term rehab at CHCC, he knew where to he wanted to go.

“I had two hip replacements – one in 2010 and the other in 2013. Both times I went to Christian Health Care Center for inpatient short-term rehab,” Mr. Arahill says. “I was happy to learn that the Center now offers outpatient rehab.”

Short-term rehab, both inpatient and outpatient, is beneficial for joint-replacement patients like Mr. Arahill, as well as individuals who have had surgery; are recovering from a stroke, cardiac surgery, or pneumonia; or have a chronic illness, such as cardiac disease, renal disease, or diabetes. Inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy primarily take place in the 14,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Bolger Gym & Wellness Center. The facility includes the Transitional Care Suite, a treatment modality unique to this area. The suite, which encompasses a kitchen/dining area, family room, laundry room, bedroom, and bathroom, offers patients a chance to relearn daily activities in a safe, private environment, under the guidance of their therapist.

“The new gym is fabulous,” he says. “It’s a great environment.”

Part of Mr. Arahill’s successful outpatient rehab is credited to his active lifestyle and proactive approach.

“I visited CHCC before surgery to talk to the rehab staff. They suggested that I build up my muscles prior to surgery. Dr. Cahill said that was the way to go,” Mr. Arahill says. “If I was physically fit and my shoulder muscles were stretched and strong, recovery would be that much faster.”

The rehab staff incorporated swinging a golf club into Mr. Arahill therapy program.

Today, Mr. Arahill is back on the links, walking four miles five times a week, tending to his acre of property, consulting, and stopping at CHCC to say hello to his therapists – and browse in de Snoep Winkel Gift shop.

“I like to buy gifts for my wife there. It’s a great shop,” he says. “I like to support CHCC. It has been good to me.”

For more information about short-term rehab, call Karen Hockstein at (201) 848-4463, email khockstein@chccnj.org, or visit ChristianHealthCare.org.

 

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