Getting back to normal life after a debilitating injury, stroke, illness or a traumatic experience is tough for everyone. Sport professionals; children living with physical disabilities .i.e autistic children in need of socialization; and the geriatric population are in need one form or another rehabilitation services to function optimally. Military veterans suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also need rehabilitation services to better integrate into the society.
To help people get back to functioning optimally is the purpose of rehabilitation services. After a comprehensive individualized assessment of patients to understand the neurological, orthopedic or cognitive limitations affecting the patient three types of rehabilitation therapies are usually recommended.
Broadly, these rehabilitation services can be divided into:
Occupational and physical
language pathology and speech therapy
psychiatric rehabilitation services.
They are all linked together and serve the ultimate purpose of getting the patient back to normal.
Occupational and physical therapy lays emphasis on mobility, limitation to mobility and patient’s functional capacity. For example, disabled people, sports personnel and people engaged in physically demanding occupations are usually recommended for occupational therapist. Lots of physical exercises are used in the treatment.
Speech therapy and language pathology are given to patients suffering from voice disorder, communication, and cognitive disorder. It is particularly helpful for autistic children in forming social bonds.
Psychiatric rehabilitation services are essential for veterans suffering from PTSD to re-integrate them back into the community through the teaching of social skills, living skills and enhance their long term capacity to function as a member of the community.
Treatment strategies and techniques in rehabilitation service include therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, neurological re-education for damaged nerves and muscles and others,
Inpatient vs Outpatient rehabilitation services
These services can be for an inpatient in which case the patient receives the treatment in a hospital before they are discharged. For example, a patient who suffered spinal cord injury commences rehabilitation treatment once they are stable. This treatment is in the form of occupational therapy to improve motor skill.
Outpatients rehabilitation therapy is administered to the patient, not on admission in a hospital. People dealing with drug addiction/alcoholism and the geriatric population are suitable for this kind of therapy as they can come to the facility to receive treatment and go back home, in some cases, the Occupational Therapist makes the call to the patient at home.