Nosrat works on her pinching and grabbing skills with clothespins in therapy to develop range of motion and strength
Nosrat works on her pinching and gripping skills with clothespins, as occupational therapist Carin Roth and daughter Fereshteh watch. This exercise will help Nosrat develop range of motion and strength.

Family cook gets the ingredients for recovery

It wasn't unusual to smell the delicious aroma of traditional Persian food flowing from Nosrat's kitchen. The independent, 95-year-old great-grandmother loved to entertain friends and family, but a bad fall on Christmas day forced Nosrat out of the kitchen and into a hospital bed.

Plagued by excruciating pain and fatigue from a fractured pelvis, Nosrat laid in a hospital bed for several weeks unable to walk or move on her own.

"She's the most independent woman I have ever known," says her daughter Fereshteh. "It was very difficult to see her like that."

In late January 2011, Nosrat was admitted to St. John's Rehab's Short Term Active Reconditioning (STAR) program. Rather than focusing on a specific type of injury or illness, this program helps people regain strength, mobility and function following surgery or a long acute care hospital stay.

Traditionally, people recovering from general surgeries or medical conditions were not candidates for rehabilitation programs.

"The STAR program has opened up an important new option in recovery," says Malcolm Moffat, President and CEO, St. John's Rehab. "Now, more patients can get the care they need to confidently return to their lives, instead of waiting in hospital."

During their rehab treatment, patients work with an interdisciplinary team of rehab experts to rebuild their independence and restore their overall health. The team works closely with patients and their families to develop a customized treatment plan that suits each individual's needs and goals.

For Nosrat, participating in this program was the difference between lying helpless in a hospital bed and having the strength and confidence to walk on her own.

Now, Nosrat is ready to start cooking again. Occupational therapist Carin Roth will spend time with her in a functional kitchen inside the hospital as part of her rehab treatment.

"I know that I'm not 100 per cent, but I will get there soon," says Nosrat. "I know that I'm in good hands."