What to Expect
How do I know if I need rehabilitation therapy?
Your physician or caregivers can help you decide whether you can benefit from rehabilitation services. In
general, though, there are some signs that you may be a good candidate for physical, occupational, speech, or respiratory therapy:
- You are recovering from illness or surgery
- You feel more weak or tired than usual
- Walking, standing, or general movement becomes more difficult
- You are afraid of falling, or you feel like you're not able to balance yourself
- You experience pain throughout your body
- Your memory and recall isn't as sharp as it used to be
- You have difficulty swallowing when eating and drinking
- You're having trouble with every day activities, like dressing, cooking, and taking care of yourself
This list is not all-inclusive, and you should make sure to consult with your doctor or caregivers if you have any concerns about starting therapy.
How do I get started?
Your doctor will need to write a "physician's order," which basically gives your rehab therapy the green light to get started. Upon receiving this physician's order, you will be evaluated by a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and respiratory therapist, as clinically indicated. These highly-trained clinicians will complete comprehensive assessments, looking at various key performance areas appropriate to your diagnosis and clinical needs to help you achieve your goals.
Your evaluation will be based on your medical history, the results of standardized assessments, your therapists' clinical observations, and your own goals and preferences. Based on this information, your therapy team will come up with a plan of care.
How often will I go to rehab?
Each plan of care is customized to your diagnosis and clinical needs. Your therapist will work with you and your physician to determine the appropriate frequency for your participation in therapy. This may be three days a week or it may be six, depending on your individual clinical needs. You may be seen by one discipline only, or you may require therapy from several disciplines.
Is rehabilitation therapy difficult? Will it hurt?
Most people look forward to participating in physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapy! The ultimate goal of rehabilitation therapy is to get you back to your highest level of independence and function, so you'll have to challenge yourself to make sure that you're progressing towards your goals. You'll need to take an active role in the treatment process, and some of what your therapist asks you to do may be difficult or uncomfortable. It should not be painful, however, and it will not cause further injury.
Will I have any say in my plan of care?
Your therapist will explain the what and the why behind your treatment plan so that you can take an active role in your therapy program. It's important to keep an open line of communication with your therapists, letting them know if anything is too difficult or painful -- or if anything is too easy! Your therapists will reevaluate your progress on an ongoing basis and will work with you to make sure that your goals are still appropriate. They will share your progress with you, and together you will determine whether you need to change your goals.
Will I see the same therapists every day?
You may not have the same therapists every day, but we have a strong and highly qualified team in place to help you reach your goals. Therapists are available during your scheduled therapy sessions to communicate with you, your family, and your care team. They also maintain detailed documentation notes that are shared with your interdisciplinary care team, so if you see a different therapist during your next session, he or she will be able to pick up where your last therapist left off.
When will I be discharged from therapy?
Your therapy program will end when you've reached your potential, or when you're no longer making progress. At this point, your therapists will work with you to identify the resources you'll need to be successful, including adaptive equipment, when necessary, or a home program that you can continue on your own. Once you're ready to discontinue your rehabilitation therapy program, your therapists will train you, your family, and your caregivers in techniques and strategies to ensure your success in the future.