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Advent Health: Restoring capabilities

Written by Akers Editorial

AdventHealth Waterman’s new inpatient rehabilitation unit offers state-of-the-art services to help patients regain daily living skills.


The third floor of the newly built tower at AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares is where Dr. Robert Kent says exciting things are happening.

The entire floor houses the new the inpatient rehabilitation unit—noted as the only one in Lake County—featuring 12 private rooms, a dining area, kitchen and gym with state-of-the-art equipment and a medical management team focused on helping patients restore their functional ability to do daily living activities so they can go home.

“For the patients who come up here, we help them get back on their feet again,” says Dr. Kent, the medical director and attending physician for the unit. He specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation, a branch of medicine called physiatry that is geared to help patients with physical limitations, including fractures, strokes and amputations, learn how to bathe, dress, cook a meal, get in and out of a vehicle and so on during their rehabilitation.

“I’ve always loved physiatry,” Dr. Kent says. “We’re taking a patient, like someone who has been through a hip fracture, and they can’t go home yet because they can’t do the things they want to do safely. We want to make sure we are setting them up for the best success.”

Lyndsey Claudio, the senior rehab manager for the unit, believes the inpatient rehab unit will be most beneficial for patients suffering strokes, amputations, neurological conditions, multi-major fractures, knee replacements and hip fractures, as well as those requiring medical management, rehabilitative needs, complex nursing and physician management.

“With stroke patients, it is really imperative to start their rehabilitation recovery sooner than later so that they can regain their independence,” she says.

Dr. Kent, along with a team of nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists and internal medicine physicians, evaluate, monitor and oversee each patient’s progress as they receive three hours of therapy five out of seven days a week.

“Therapy is broken up with lots of rest breaks during the day,” Lyndsey says. “With occupational therapy, they would be working on activities with daily living, such as bathing, toileting, dressing. In physical therapy, they would be working on getting in and out of bed, walking, climbing up and down stairs.”

The environment in the inpatient rehab unit simulates a home setting, including a kitchen where patients experience the best ways to do meal prep, cook, wash dishes or load a dishwasher. Patients also dine in their own beautiful dining area on the floor.

The unit’s roomy gym is geared toward patients’ recovery with state-of-the art equipment, including a hydraulic car simulator that can be adjusted to match the height of a patient’s car or truck. This allows the patient to learn ways to be safe and comfortable in a vehicle.

“And we have over 136 feet of gait track (on the ceiling) with a pulley harness system that will hold the patient up, so that the therapist can really work on the technical pieces of walking,” Lyndsey says. “The patient and therapist both feel safe, and it helps patients increase their independence a lot quicker.”

“It’s the latest technology. Not a lot of rehab centers have it,” Lyndsey says of AdventHealth Waterman’s inpatient rehab services. “I’m most proud of the multidisciplinary approach we will give patients in their recovery. We’re coming together as a team to help patients regain their function.”

The inpatient rehabilitation unit is covered by most insurances and Medicare. Patients typically stay 10 to 14 days, though the duration depends on each patient’s progress.

Potential patients can be referred by family members or physicians, and they are screened for admission to see if they are a candidate for rehab at AdventHealth Waterman.

Dr. Kent says Lake County needed an inpatient rehab facility.

“There is a shortage of rehab beds and there is a great need in this population,” he says. “I’m glad we are able to bring that to the community.”

AdventHealth Waterman // 1000 Waterman Way, Tavares // 352.253.3333 // 

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