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What Is a Community Rehabilitation Center?

By Glyn Sinclair
Updated May 17, 2024
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A community rehabilitation center typically seeks to help people suffering from illnesses and injuries such as brain trauma and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) who live in the general vicinity of the rehabilitation center. The facility basically serves the community and anyone who has ongoing chronic physical and sometimes emotional problems on a day to day basis. Many of the patients that visit a community rehabilitation center often live at home and travel to the center for follow-up treatments and healing therapies. The facility saves them from having to travel to a doctor or hospital, which may be difficult for them due to their present condition. By having access to the center, stress is also lessened on family and friends who may be tasked with caring for the patient.

Some of the services provided for patients can include physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Physical therapy is often employed to help people recover movement and reduce pain from traumas such as spinal cord injury, stroke and amputation. Exercise, massage, ultrasound and nutrition planning are some the physical therapy treatments offered at a community rehabilitation center. Licensed physical therapists are typically available on a day to day basis to work with patients suffering debilitating injuries or loss of neurological function. Heat treatments and the use of electrical therapy to manipulate and stimulate muscles are also tools used by therapists at a community rehabilitation center.

Occupational therapy is another service that may be found at a community rehabilitation center. This involves working with the patient to adjust to life in the home and community after a life-changing injury such as losing a limb, or when they have reduced limb function after a brain injury or stroke. Part of the program can also include helping the patient relearn simple day to day tasks such as taking public transport and learning to drive again. Therapists will sometimes visit the patient’s home to help modify the living space so that they are able to maneuver around without too much difficulty. For many patients this type of therapy can continue for the duration of their lives.

A community rehabilitation center may also offer a speech therapy program. Patients that experience spinal cord and brain injuries will sometimes lose the ability to speak, or only have partial verbal skills that remain. A speech therapist will work with patients to strengthen throat and stomach muscles and can involve group therapy as well. Picture books may be used to help patients to recall everyday items that they may no longer recognize, as well as teach them basic reading and writing skills to help them develop fuller lives.

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