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New assisted living residents live semi-independently after short-term rehabilitation

Neal Wilkerson and his wife, Pat, moved into the assisted living neighborhood at Parsons Presbyterian Manor after stays in the PATH short-term rehabilitation program.

Neal spent time in PATH, which stands for Post-Acute To Home, after two different hospital stays.

“Parsons is lucky to have the hospital and Parsons Presbyterian Manor,” he said. “If it weren’t for them, I don’t think I would have survived.”

The first time he was hospitalized, Neal was offered three rehabilitation options.

“We picked this place because we had heard good things about it,” he said.

He had such a positive experience with the level of care, the food, and the therapy program that he didn’t consider going elsewhere when he needed a second round of rehabilitation.

“We figured we had best pick of what we want, and we had experienced this place before,” Neal said.

He has particular praise for the meals they take in the “mess hall.”

“You can’t complain about the food here,” Neal said. “It’s out of this world.”

After the Wilkersons’ most recent PATH experience, their nieces and nephews urged them to stay at the community. One of their nephews bought them a television and installed it in their apartment, and they are now able to manage most of the daily aspects of their lives, including administering their own medication. However, additional assistance is available if they need it.

In therapy, Neal has made significant progress with step climbing, and he’s still working on that. He and Pat are able to take walks around their Presbyterian Manor neighborhood.

“We can come and go as we please,” Neal said. The couple recently enjoyed an assisted living outing to the Dinosaur Park in Erie, Kan.

The Wilkersons have lived most of their lives in the area. Pat grew up on a farm just outside Parsons, moving within the city limits when she and Neal married.

“She’s been in town with me for 52 years,” said Neal, who has lived in Parsons his whole life, with the exception of his time in the Army and a short stint in Oklahoma.

The only down side of their new home: Both Neal and Pat miss their beloved cats, who are still being cared for in their home.

“Other than that, it’s wonderful, you know,” Neal said. “We get along just fine."

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