Most people are lucky enough to sustain only minor bumps or bruises during their lifetime. But what happens when injuries are more serious? Sometimes major accidents or occurrences can interrupt your daily life — how do you deal with such a sudden change? Rehabilitation can help.

What is rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is a process of recovery and restoration following an injury or illness, recommended to anyone that may have suffered from an event that prevents them from living their daily lives normally.

The end goal for treatment may not be a return to life as it was before the injury; it may be to help the individual reach their maximum potential. The rehabilitation plan is individualized for each person as recovery process differs according to each patient’s capabilities, goals and diagnosis.

Rehabilitation may help treat a variety of injuries and diseases, including but not limited to:

  • Amputations
  • Brain or head injury
  • Cancer
  • Cardiac disease
  • Fractures and other physical injuries
  • Liver transplants
  • Lymphedema
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke

How does rehabilitation work?
Rehabilitation teaches individuals to be self-sufficient and to adopt prevention and wellness as a way of life. The goals of rehabilitation are to restore a person’s function to the highest possible level and to promote independence. It emphasizes a person’s abilities and minimizes any disabilities. Rehabilitation is practiced across a variety of settings, from inpatient to home, helping to give back an individual’s self-esteem, self-dignity, security and control over their life again.

The patient works with several different people during this process, including physicians, nurses, case managers, social workers, neuropsychologists and therapists. Together, they work to equip patients with tools for success. Different forms of therapy are a key component of this process and can include physical, occupational, or speech and language therapy. Therapy works to improve the patient’s function and activities of daily living, with common goals including self-care — such as eating, grooming, bathing and dressing — mobility and restroom usage.

The average length of stay in an inpatient rehabilitation facility is 10 to 14 days, although this may vary depending on the patient’s injury or illness.

Is rehabilitation for me?
Many people may not understand the complexity of rehabilitation. Inpatient admission depends on criteria outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), which helps determine whether a patient can tolerate the intensity of an inpatient rehabilitation stay.

If you feel you may qualify for rehabilitation, educate yourself on your options. Take the first step and contact your desired program for a tour and more information. These programs should be designed to help reframe your body and mind, and return you to a sense of security and normalcy. Depending on the program, referrals for rehabilitation may need to be made by a physician.

The MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute at Long Beach Medical Center offers exceptional programs with an expert care team that strives to meet each individual’s needs for functional improvement. With accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute boasts specialized programs and campus facilities to fit a variety of diagnoses and conditions. The Institute also offers Transitional Rehabilitation Service (TRS), a unique program that offers real-world adaptability using a fully furnished home, empowering patients and their families towards successful reintegration into their community. Learn more at our section on rehabilitation.