Each year, September 20th is National Rehabilitation Day. At GRH, we have a strong focus on rehabilitation and goal-directed care. Rehabilitation “can help to avoid costly hospitalization, reduce hospital length of stay, and prevent re-admissions. Rehabilitation also enables individuals to participate in education and gainful employment, remain independent at home, and minimize the need for financial or caregiver support” (World Health Organization, 2021).
Rehabilitation begins as soon as patients are stabilized, medically or psychiatrically, and involves the entire interdisciplinary team, working together to promote physical, cognitive and mental health. Rehab can begin prior to admission for patients with scheduled procedures or surgeries, and continues throughout the patient journey. From acute care, cancer care and inpatient and outpatient mental health programs to stroke rehabilitation, low intensity rehabilitation, chronic care and palliation, healthcare professionals work with the patients and their loved ones to maximize abilities, enhance quality of life, find hope and reduce stress. We believe patients should not just survive their illness, but have the opportunity to thrive.
Did You Know?
- Rehabilitation intervention can deliver savings within the context of health and social care by: reducing the risk of falls, reducing the associated costs of mental health illness, reducing the costs associated with diabetic care, reducing length-of-stay costs, and reducing chronic disability.
- Throughout the rehabilitation journey in all practice areas, our social workers help patients, families, and caregivers with the psychological, social, emotional, and instrumental issues that people have to deal with as a result of a diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
- Optimal nutrition plays an important role in the rehabilitation process since it directly affects recovery and function. Nutrients are key in rebuilding tissue and preventing muscle atrophy. Patients who are well nourished improve more quickly, have reduced length of stay and greater quality of life.
- Early mobilization strategies (defined as assessing patients for mobility and functional status within 24 hours of admission and encouraging appropriate activity immediately) have been shown to:
- Decrease acute care length of stay
- Shorten the duration of delirium
- Improve the return to independent functioning
- Decrease the risk of depression
- Increase rates of discharge to home
- Decrease hospital costs by $300/patient/day
- Early identification and treatment of swallowing difficulties can reduce the risk of aspiration and aspiration-related consequences, malnutrition, dehydration, and improve overall quality of life.
- Early and intensive speech therapy improves a patient’s ability to regain or further improve their ability to communicate their wants and needs with their loved ones. We know that being able to effectively communicate with others is an essential human need.
- Rehabilitation professionals are part of the staffing mix enabling many individuals living with the most severe mental illnesses to experience significant improvements in symptoms and quality of life, and engage in a life of meaning and purpose. Mental health programs that help people access treatment early, or help them stay out of hospital or the criminal justice system and can generate cost savings (Mental Health Commission of Canada).
- “An Ontario study of its Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs (a highly specialized form of intensive case management in the community) reports an 82% decline in hospitalizations in four years among these program participants”(Mental Health Commission of Canada).
- Receipt of and intensity of rehabilitation therapy in the acute care of stroke is associated with a decreased risk of hospital readmission.
National Rehabilitation Day is a time to recognize and acknowledge the positive benefits of our rehab programs and the impact these services have on helping people maintain, regain or improve their health and wellness, and carry out daily activities.