There are approximately 220,000 US Veterans in Iowa. Of that group, nearly 50% are 65 years and older. The VA Central Iowa Health Care System (VA Hospital) has over 35,000 veterans enrolled.
Older adults are subject to increased mobility issues. Accidental falls, joint replacement, amputation (diabetes) and stroke all impact this group. The VA Hospital continuously supports these patients, with both in-patient and out-patient programs.
Rehabilitation therapy is a major component of the healing process. At the Des Moines VA Hospital, 11 full-time physical therapists work with patients Monday through Saturday. Patients have multiple daily session, sometimes 5 times a day. In total therapy staff schedules 750 sessions each week.
Currently all of those 750 sessions are held in two rooms at the hospital. One room is in the basement with no windows. Multiple daily physical therapy sessions in the same room, one of which is windowless becomes very monotonous.