Rehabilitation programs at The Rehabilitation Center at Atrium provide comprehensive services for patients recovering from stroke, hip fracture, head injury, amputation, major multiple trauma, neuromuscular disorders, and other conditions that require an intensive nursing and therapy approach.
Rehabilitation focuses on improving the patient’s function and maximizing the potential for return to home, school, work, and the community. The type and goals of the treatment plan vary from patient to patient. A young person who has suffered a stroke may have a goal of playing golf again. An older person who has fractured a hip may want to learn to walk without help.
There are several types of rehabilitation therapies, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and recreational therapy. These therapies are described in detail below.
Speech therapy is used to improve patients’ feeding, swallowing, cognition, language, and communication skills. This therapy may include physical exercises to strengthen the muscles used in speech and swallowing. Activities may include training in compensatory verbal and nonverbal communication techniques, the use of communication devices, the use of problem-solving and decision-making, and memory strategies. Speech therapists also assist patients in redeveloping verbal and noverbal communication skills. Such therapy may include training in speech, language and computer skills, as well as patient and family counseling related to educational, vocational and social issues.
Occupational therapy helps people develop or regain skills that are important for independent living. This therapy is centered on self-care training and education using adaptive equipment, motor-control training, and function-based training. Occupational therapy helps patients learn how to carry out activities of daily living (ADLs)—such as grooming, dressing, and shopping—at home, on the job, and in the community.
Physical therapy is for patients who have a disability or other change in physical function due to injury, surgery, disease, developmental disorder, or loss of a body part. Common physical therapy activities include walking, muscle strengthening, stair climbing, balance training, and transfer skills (such as getting in and out of a bed or chair). Treatment can also include electrical stimulation, hot and/or cold compresses, and ultrasound to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Recreational therapy is vital in the holistic approach to treatment. The goal of recreational therapy is to restore, remediate, or rehabilitate the patient to improve independence. Activities such as games, music, dance, and art are incorporated into therapy to help patients use their spare time in ways that enhance their health, functional abilities, independence, and quality of life.
Being aware of a patient’s mental ability to complete the tasks necessary for rehabilitation is very important. With the neuropsychologist’s help, the rehabilitation team plans individual treatment goals and adapts them to the patient’s disability. The neuropsychologist also provides useful information to patients and their families that helps them adjust to life-changing conditions, increasing the success of their rehabilitation and return to the community.