Here is my ONE-STAR review of Powerback Rehab in Lakewood, CO for hip replacement therapy.

Do not let your loved-one go to this place of low quality rehabilitation.

Several years ago both my parents stayed at Azura rehab, which I gave a good review for.

Since then ownership changed to Genesis Healthcare: hence the name change to Powerback Rehab. Here is my review!

Summation of Review of Powerback Rehab in Lakewood for a Hip Replacement Patient

• Physical therapy six days a week for 45 minutes, once per day

• Occupational therapy six days a week for 30-40 minutes, once per day

• This means on Saturday and Sunday they get only one or the other.

• Zero programs outside of therapy to get the patients up and moving.

This is a serious issue for non-compliant, stubborn or depressed patients, or those with impaired judgment stemming from lingering effects of general anesthesia or some other cause.

• Patients have opportunities to get in their walking when venturing to and from their bathroom and the dining hall, but for patients lacking motivation (for the reasons cited above), essentially the only walking they’ll do is that during therapy.

This means outside of therapy, patients are left to their own devices.

• They may be lying in bed all day long or sitting like a blob for hours on end in their rooms.

• Patients with initiative or self-starting capabilities may progress fast, as they will want to walk at every opportunity, including summoning a CNA to accompany them beyond just the walks to the dining hall or bathroom. Powerback, then, benefits only self-starters with sound judgment.

• It’s so crucial for hip (and knee) replacement patients to walk, walk and walk.

• My mother spent a lot of time in bed sleeping. Though Powerback Rehab offers activities like bingo, fruit and ice cream socials and someone who comes in with a “therapy” dog, these activities do not necessarily get a patient to walk.

CNAs at Lakewood Powerback Rehab

Watch out here. The CNAs have the most interaction with patients, and are NOT trained to be proactive with them.

Typically they’ll ask, “Do you want to be wheeled or walk?” when it’s time to accompany the patient to the dining hall or bathroom.

Though some patients cannot walk, others can and SHOULD. A non-compliant or judgement-impaired patient may answer “wheeled,” and the CNA will oblige, rather than recognize the need to encourage the patient to walk.

Before you assume that a CNA won’t be able to change a stubborn patient’s mind, there was one particular CNA at Powerback Rehab who could easily get my resistant mother walking to the dining hall or bathroom — because she was proactive.

A second CNA also took this approach and got my mother up and about.  The rest were like robots or failed to recognize the detriment of the “I want to be wheeled” option.

Powerbak Rehab CNAs are NOT required to encourage patients, who can and should walk, to do so.

The isolated gems who actually DO this simply reflect the law of averages: In any group of CNAs there’s bound to be a few who are proactive.

Two of the CNAs had thick accents and spoke rapidly. I had to peel my ears to decipher them.

I cannot understand why a facility, in which most of the patients are elderly (and thus have poor hearing) would hire CNAs with such poor pronunciation of English. Powerback Rehab of Lakewood, Colorado, really misses the boat.

My mother couldn’t hear them half the time and kept asking them to repeat things.

They lacked the smarts to speak s-l-o-w-l-y and instead would repeat in their rapid, thick accent.

Powerback Rehab of Lakewood, Coloraod obviously failed to train them in how to speak to the elderly hearing impaired.

It’s not illegal for a facility with so many hearing-impaired patients to refrain from hiring someone on the grounds that they cannot speak clearly.

Powerback Rehab in Lakewood is very understaffed with CNAs.

I also witnessed at least a few times the CNA on assignment for my mother failing to receive the signal from my mother’s call button. Often it took them a while to respond (due to the understaffing).

Fall Risks

My mother soon made it known she was very prone to using her walker without assistance, even though she was given strict orders to summon for a CNA.

This made her a fall risk. I pointed this out numerous times, but staff didn’t show much concern, citing that laws prohibited them from using bed or chair alarms for a patient who didn’t want them.

Maybe this is true, but there was no program in place to guard against my mother falling.

Fall risks following hip replacement surgery are common, and I ended up having to watch her like a hawk, then keep my fingers crossed when I wasn’t there.


One of the nurses could barely speak English. Why would Lakewood Powerback Rehab hire a nurse, whose English was so bad that even I, with my good hearing, had difficulty understanding, to work with predominantly elderly patients who — as everyone surely knows — collectively have poor hearing?

When I needed whichever nurse was assigned to my mother per the shift, it was usually difficult to find her or him.

Yes, there are other patients, but I got the sense that Powerback is understaffed in the nursing department.

Occupational Therapy

The two sessions I witnessed were a joke. For the first session I witnessed, my mother did only one thing in the therapy room: sitting at an arm-pedaling machine.

For the second session, she was shown how to use a device to put on a sock, then taken to that arm pedaling machine.

This second session was 30 minutes, even though the prior one lasted 40 minutes.

The second therapist kept speaking in a soft voice. A smart therapist will ask the patient if there’s any hearing loss and will quickly detect if the patient was truthful or unaware of this, and hence, speak with more volume.

Physical Therapy

I never witnessed a session, but the PT kept saying my mother did well. However, in the 11 days she was at Powerback Rehab in Lakewood, her ambulation never improved much, though she learned how to manage a three-step railed staircase.

Powerback Rehab’s grounds, lobby and lounges are very attractive and clean.

But attractive furnishings, lovely decorations and pictures on the walls, and well-landscaped premises are not what restores mobility to a hip replacement patient.

The food at Powerback Rehab in Lakewood, CO is good. But I’d be much more concerned about the aforementioned issues.

My mother’s home PT said that places like Powerback Rehab set the patient back: A week at rehab means two weeks to catch up. The home PT, after assessing her, said that her mobility should have been much further along.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.