Key Facts About Rehabilitation

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November 8, 2020
November 8, 2020

Key Facts About Rehabilitation


Rehabilitation is a set of interventions that is needed when a person e.g. a retiree, an adolescent, a mother etc. is experiencing or is most likely going to experience limitations in everyday functioning due to ageing or a medical health condition, including disorders or chronic diseases, traumas or injuries. Examples of limitations in functioning are difficulties in hearing, seeing, communicating, thinking, moving around, keeping a job or having relationships.

Rehabilitation is a vital component of global health coverage along with treatment, palliation, promotion, and prevention.

There is a growing need for rehabilitation worldwide (e.g. North Sydney, Inner East, Newtown etc.) associated with changing health and demographic trends of increase in non-communicable diseases and population ageing.

At present, the subsequent need for rehabilitation is largely not fulfilled. For example, in many countries especially low and middle-income countries, there is a gross lack of trained professionals that can provide rehabilitation services, with less than 20 skilled practitioners per 1 million population.

What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation could be seen as a care that can help you get back, keep, and enhance abilities that you need for daily life. These activities could be mental, physical and cognitive (learning and thinking). You may have lost them due to an injury or disease, or as a side effect arising from a medical treatment. Rehabilitation can enhance your daily life and functioning.

Who needs rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation is for people like, retirees, adolescents, university students, mothers etc. who have lost the abilities that they need for daily life and functioning. Some of the most common causes of this loss of abilities include:

  • Major surgery
  • Side effects from medical treatment
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Chronic pain, including neck and back pain
  • Certain birth defects and genetic disorders
  • Stroke
  • Traumas and injuries, including fractures, burns, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries

What are the goals of rehabilitation?

The ultimate goal of rehabilitation is to help you get back your abilities and regain independence. But the specific goals vary with each person according to their medical needs. They depend on the causes of the health problem, whether the causes are ongoing or temporary, which abilities you lose, and how severe the problem is. For example,

  • An active person who has experienced a heart attack may go through cardiac rehabilitation in order to return to exercising.
  • Someone with a lung disease may go through pulmonary rehabilitation to be able to breath normally and improve their quality of life.
  • A person who has a stroke may need rehabilitation to be able walk or dress without help.

What happens in a rehabilitation program?

During rehabilitation program, you often have a team of different health care providers supporting you. They will be available to work with you with the aim to figure out your needs, goals, and treatment plan. A treatment plan may contain the following types of treatments:

  • Nutritional counseling
  • Physical therapy to help your mobility, strength, and fitness
  • Vocational rehabilitation to help you build skills for going to school or working at a job
  • Mental health counseling
  • Speech-language therapy to help with speaking, reading, writing, and swallowing
  • Recreational therapy to improve your emotional well-being through arts and crafts, relaxation training, games, and animal assisted therapy

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