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What is Rehabilitation Care?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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Rehabilitation care is an incredibly broad term. Mainly, it focuses on addressing some aspect of health or function that is impaired and attempting to improve it, via a variety of therapies. There are several types of rehabilitation care that could be discussed and these include: physical rehabilitation from traumatic injury or brain injury, drug/alcohol or other addiction rehabilitation, and rehabilitation from mental illnesses. Care may be performed in a variety of settings that include hospitals, day treatment facilities, and outpatient clinics.

When people suffer injury to limbs or other body functions that change ability to act or function “as normal,” they may need to spend time in a rehabilitation care facility. A person who has lost a limb or had stroke might be equally likely to need some hospitalization at such a place, once initial illness or injury is stabilized. The person having lost a limb would have physical and possibly occupational therapy to learn how to function without it or to use prosthetics, and the person who has had a stroke, might need physical, occupational and speech therapy to combat any brain injury that occurred. Once people have received preliminary therapy at a hospital, they could be discharged to home but would likely to continue to need support from a variety of therapists to continue progress.

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People who are addicts may choose to enter a drug treatment program that is at an inpatient rehabilitation care hospital. In fact, some people call this “entering rehab.” At drug treatment centers people may recover from the initial effects of drug withdrawal, and then participate in counseling and other exercises that further rehabilitation care and reduce likelihood of using again in the future. Once they have a completed this form of program, which could last a few weeks to several months, recovering addicts might seek support on the outside with a drug and alcohol counselor, a therapist, or with groups like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous.

Similarly, the person with a severe mental health condition might need hospitalization to stabilize medications and restore greater clarity. Like many of the other examples cited, care continues on the outside with therapists, psychiatrists, and possibly occupational therapists to assist in regaining life and finding work. In all cases, this care has many levels.

As mentioned, the principal levels are hospital, day treatment and appointment based care. Rehabilitation care hospitals may be the first step for many people, though others won’t require hospitalization of any kind. Some people receive extensive rehabilitation care through outpatient or day treatment centers, and will typically go home at night to join families after spending the day in a variety of therapies. Alternately, some people are able to get the help they need at different outpatient places like counseling centers, physical therapy clinics, or others. These are no less important to rehabilitation care, and help patients complete the process of regaining the function that they can.

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