Toni Pfenning Helps Rehab Patients Regain Their Independence

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), Toni Pfenning, is a member of our Widows Home rehab team. She became part of our Widows Home family two years ago, following five years of work in skilled nursing facilities and experience working in the home health and pediatrics fields. Before she began her career as a COTA, Toni worked for years in the insurance industry in Atlanta, Georgia. It was during that time that she decided that she wanted to dedicate her life to helping people through occupational therapy.

As part of her job at the insurance company, Toni frequently went on ride-alongs with therapists to check the progress of people who made insurance claims and she credits one stop in particular for shaping the rest of her life. Toni and the therapist visited a police officer who had been shot in both hands and was working hard to adapt and retrain himself to do things around the house. Seeing his determination and the conscious effort he had to put forth to do everyday tasks that he used to without thinking deeply affected her. Soon after that, she enrolled in school to become a COTA and start down her new career path.

Now, Toni helps patients get back up to speed with the activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, and common household tasks so they can get back home or improve their overall quality of life. She finds her work very rewarding and says that as a COTA, she goes home feeling good every day. Toni enjoys working at the Widows Home because of the cooperation and camaraderie between the STNAs, nurses, and COTAs and how that benefits the rehab patients who are here for therapy and the skilled nursing residents that call our community home.

When she’s not at work, Toni has a good time at home with her husband of 18 years and their two dogs: an English Bulldog named Sluggo and an English Mastiff puppy named Berkleigh.

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