Most people don’t give short-term therapy, or short-term rehabilitation, much thought — until they need it! Once you find yourself in a situation where therapy is an option to consider, you may have a lot of questions.
Below, we have laid out the basics of short-term therapy and three BIG reasons why it’s so important for anyone recovering from an acute illness or injury.
Short-term therapy comprises rehabilitative services that help someone reach their prior level of function while recovering from acute illness or injury. In other words, short-term therapy helps you get back to being you.
This often involves physical, occupational or speech therapies, or a combination of the three. These services can be inpatient or outpatient and often coordinate with skilled nursing services. With short-term therapy, patients can reach their full recovery potential.
Short-term rehabilitation, specifically physical therapy, is meant to help recovering patients find their footing again. Physical therapists and physical therapy assistants use certain techniques, modalities and state-of-the-art technologies to guide patients through exercises that will improve their balance, increase their strength and sharpen their coordination.
With physical therapy, a patient makes the leap from medically stable to strong and independent. This sets them up to regain the functionality and freedom they may have lost.
While physical therapy gets you back up again, occupational therapy helps you get back to the activities you need to do –– as well as those you love to do! Occupational therapy targets one’s abilities to maintain balance and coordination while engaging in activities of daily living, such as dressing, cooking, cleaning, and reacreation.
This prepares a patient for the daily demands and opportunities life presents.
Many occupational therapy gyms have stations that recreate areas of a typical home, such as a kitchen or bedroom, so patients can practice their daily living routines with the guidance and support of therapists and therapy assistants.
This kind of therapy allows patients to reach a personalized level of strength and control so that they can return home with confidence.
Speech therapy is a discipline of rehabilitation that people often overlook. But there are many medical conditions and events that affect the parts of the body responsible for speech and swallowing. Of course, this can greatly impact one’s ability to communicate and nourish themselves.
Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists, employ techniques, exercises and technology (such as Vitalstim and E-Stim) that strengthen the muscles responsible for swallowing and vocalization. So, with speech therapy, you can return to not just a life of activity and physical independence but a life of socialization and connection.
If you ever find yourself in the hospital recovering from an acute condition, it's important to remember that how and where you recover is always your choice. But your doctor can advise you whether therapy is the right option to explore.
If you have any questions about how short-term therapy can benefit you or a loved one, call your nearest Life Care facility, and an associate will happily assist you. Or schedule a personal tour of the facility!