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Swing-bed facility gets patients moving

Rebecca Mack, 79, is making good progress considering she just had a knee replacement AND heart bypass surgery. Still, during recovery, she has come to a swing-bed unit for rehabilitation at Swain Community Hospital rather than a nursing home or staying with relatives. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Rebecca Mack, 79, is making good progress considering she just had a knee replacement AND heart bypass surgery.

Still, during recovery, she has come to a swing-bed unit for rehabilitation at Swain Community Hospital rather than a nursing home or staying with relatives.

"It's hard for family to take care of somebody in this situation," said Dr. Dan Mackey, an internal medicine physician. "One, it's pretty intensive, and, two, it's pretty easy for us to say, 'Come on, let's go. We're gonna do this together. '"

Physical therapy is frequent in this unit that can transition between acute care and skilled care.

"Just to be independent to enjoy these beautiful mountains again," Mack replied when asked what her long-term goal was.

The stay in this swing-bed facility varies from patient to patient, but on average it's about 14 days.

Mackey commented, "It's amazing! I'm often amazed at how effective the teams are working with the patients."

And how quickly patients like Mack are back on their feet and headed home.

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