Warren Barger, summer 2017

A gastrointestinal hemorrhage sent Warren Barger to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and left him weak.


This was quite a change for Barger, who in July 2017 was featured in a Washington Post article about how mindset can help slow the aging process. The article highlighted Barger and his brother’s continuing participation in the National Senior Games athletic events. At the time, he was 95. Now, he is 96.


Barger chose to do his rehabilitation at Life Care Center of Morristown, Tennessee, arriving on Dec. 14, 2017. When he got there, he needed moderate assistance for bathing, getting in and out of bed and balancing while sitting. He had difficulty balancing while standing, and he could only walk 60 feet. He needed some assistance with his self-care skills as well.


Physical and occupational therapies helped turn this around for Barger.


No stranger to exercise, Barger took part in physical therapy that included activities like side kicks, mini-squats, knee curls and marching in place. In occupational therapy, he practiced self-care tasks like grooming, bathing and getting dressed and regained his independence.


“He was a pleasure to rehab,” said David Gagnon, director of rehabilitation. “He is a true champion!”


Although he won’t be doing the high jump again any time soon, Barger was able to go from walking 60 feet to walking 270 feet at a time when he completed his rehab stay. He returned home to a local assisted living facility on Feb. 1, 2018.

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