Tuesday, September 20, 2011

National Rehabilitation Awareness Celebration 2011

By Diane Forrest, RN

The National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation was established in 1996 by Allied Services; a not-for-profit healthcare system headquartered in Scranton, Pa. Allied, since 1976, served as sponsor of National Rehabilitation Week, a nationwide celebration to educate people about the benefits of rehabilitation and the capabilities of people with disabilities.

The Foundation was created to extend the observance from a week-long event to a year ‘round awareness campaign. One of the Foundation’s main initiatives is to elevate the celebration to a greater level of prominence.

The baby-boom generation’s movement into middle age, a period when the incidence of heart attack and stroke increases, will spur demand for therapeutic services. Growth in the population 75 years and older will increase demand for therapeutic services.

Rehabilitation covers many areas of practice.  Not only do they work with people who have been involved in some sort of trauma, but they also teach about preventative measures, and instruct on surgical  procedures that will require rehab, work with cardiac patients, arthritic patients, and disabled patients.

They offer Occupational therapy, which retrains someone who has been injured to a new occupation.  Another type of rehab would include massage therapy.  My husband, who was paralyzed in a work related accident suffered from severe leg spams.  Three days a week he would see his therapist who would work on his legs for an hour each visit.  When she would finish, she would be dripping wet with sweat and her hands would be blood red.  I was in awe of her, I know she had a hard job, I couldn’t even last a few minutes.  She kept his leg muscle soft and pliable instead of having them turn hard and brittle.

My hat is off to her for the great job she does, and for all the therapists who work in rehabilitation areas.   If you are in need of some type of rehab, or if you are contemplating having a procedure done that will require post-operative rehab, check out your local rehab center, or hospital department and see what services they offer.

For more information visit this site: http://www.nraf-rehabnet.org/index.html

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