Life Care Center of Ooltewah, welcomed its first resident, Ralph Rogers on Feb. 12.
Mr. Rogers came to the facility for rehabilitation worked with the physical and occupational therapists until he completed the program and returned to his Cleveland home on March 4.
“This whole place is just one excellent pattern after another,” he said.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Mr. Rogers has been all over the world. His father worked for NATO and was stationed in different locations while he was growing up. One of those places was Paris, which Mr. Rogers remembers enjoying as a young man.
“Paris is great if you have a lot of money,” he said, “but if you don’t, you have to learn to get by, which I did after my folks left.”
After Mr. Rogers’ father was transferred to the Far East, he stayed behind in Paris for a while in an apartment with a full view of the Eiffel Tower. One of his favorite activities was people watching from a café on the Champs-Élysées.
Mr. Rogers himself joined the United States Army and served in Germany for a time during the Soviet occupation of East Berlin, and tensions were high.
“It was pretty tough duty,” Mr. Rogers remembered. “We were on the front lines between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The demarcation line was sort of sketchy, and the Russians at that time were pretty aggressive.”
Although Mr. Rogers never fought the Soviets, his company had a few close calls. Once, when they were doing training exercises in the countryside, they heard a Russian tank in the distance, coming toward them.
“We got out of there fast,” Mr. Rogers remembered.
He eventually went back to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe office in Paris and then back to the States.
After his service, he started a travel agency in Atlanta, using his experience to help others plan vacations. He sold cruises, tour packages, flights – the whole nine yards. For 15 years, he managed the business.
The travel agency gave way to his next project – an antique shop. He collected and sold antiques, mainly rugs, from all over the world.
He went back to school and added a master’s degree in clinical hypnotherapy to his bachelor’s degree in psychology. He joined a group in Atlanta and practiced there for a while before opening his own practice in his home. He treated patients who needed to bring back suppressed memories, who needed to stop smoking or who needed to lose weight.
Life Care Center of Ooltewah is one of 26 skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Tennessee operated or managed by Life Care Centers of America.
Founded in 1976, Life Care is a nationwide health care company. With headquarters in Cleveland, Life Care operates or manages more than 220 nursing, post-acute and Alzheimer’s centers in 28 states.