Rehabilitation services help you get back or keep skills and abilities that have been lost, damaged, impaired or weakened due to illness, injury or disability. They can include physical, speech and language, or psychiatric rehabilitation. They are often needed following an amputation, a stroke, an orthopedic or spinal cord injury, or the result of surgery.
Rehabilitation is a vital health service that should be available to all, regardless of age, income or ability level. As such, it is a key part of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), alongside prevention of disease and treatment and palliative care, as outlined in the WHO’s sustainable development goals.
The global need for rehabilitation is rising rapidly, driven by population aging and the increasing numbers of people with one or more long-term conditions such as chronic illnesses, dementia, mental health disorders and neurological conditions. It is an essential component of preventing health system disruption and improving quality of life, and is therefore a key strategy to achieve the SDG 3 goal of ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’.
It involves a wide range of interventions delivered by many different types of health and non-health workers, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, speech and language therapists, orthotists, clinical psychologists and medical doctors.
These health professionals work as part of a team, and are involved in the assessment and planning of a rehabilitation plan. They also provide ongoing care as you progress through the program.
Depending on your needs, your rehabilitation care may be provided in a hospital or clinic setting, at home, or in an outpatient center. A hospital-based rehab program is more extensive than an outpatient rehab center, and patients will have access to specialized equipment and specialists.
A hospital-based rehab program will usually require you to stay in the facility for a certain amount of time, which is usually determined by your specific rehabilitation needs and insurance coverage. This is usually a minimum of 30 days, but the length can vary.
Inpatient rehabilitation hospitals focus on the rehabilitation naked of those who have a medical or traumatic injury that requires them to receive care prior to going home, such as those who have undergone an amputation or suffered a brain or spinal cord injury. They will also typically provide inpatient care for those who have received a kidney transplant or have been diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer or heart failure.
Outpatient rehabilitation centers are more affordable than a hospital-based rehab program, and they offer a variety of different services, from a skilled nursing staff to therapy sessions. You’ll have access to physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and psychiatric rehab services, with a variety of outpatient rehabilitation programs available to fit your individual needs.
These rehab centers will often have a structured environment where they can give you structure and guidance throughout your recovery process. They will help you create daily routines that include productive activities and counseling sessions so that you can learn new coping skills.