This week is designed to promote the value of rehabilitation; highlight the capabilities of people with disabilities; salute the professionals who provide service to people with disabilities; and to renew the nation's commitment to fulfilling the unmet needs of people with disabilities.
Activities began Monday at MDMC with a kick-off breakfast. The facility is also hosting a "rehab reunion" today where past rehab patients are invited to come back to visit with the nursing and therapy staff.
"It will be nice to see them again," said Kyla Evans, community education manager for the Missouri Delta Inpatient Rehab Center at MDMC. "Our therapists and nurses are excited to see how they are doing."
The Missouri Delta Inpatient Rehab Center has had about 150 patients go through during their first year, according to Evans, and has had around 400
-500 receive treatment since they opened.
"We've been open since Oct. 1, 2003," Evans said. "It's been going great -- I think it's been a great asset for the hospital and the community."
Evans said having the facility here has proved to be very convenient for area residents. "If you have been admitted to a hospital elsewhere like St. Louis, for example, you could come back closer to home for your therapy," she said.
Inpatient rehabilitation is often a last step before leaving the hospital for patients who have had a stroke, amputation, hip fracture, brain injury or have been involved in a car accident, among other things.
"These things require more acute therapy," Evans said.
A typical inpatient rehab stay is around two weeks, according to Evans, and involves intensive therapy with the unit's occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists.
"It's a pretty strenuous schedule," she said. "They do at least three hours of therapy per day."
Patients tend to be older but aren't always. Evans recalled one 16-year-old patient who went through rehabilitation following a car accident.
"And younger people are having strokes these days," she noted.
Unlike outpatient rehab services, patients in the Inpatient Rehab Center don't leave and go home after their therapy session. "These patients actually stay in the hospital during their rehabilitation program," Evans said.
Rehabilitation is individualized so every patient is able to progress at his or her own ability level and pace.
Patients often participate in what is called "community re-entry outings" which can be anything from going grocery shopping to fishing. Such outings prepare the patient to re-enter the community in a safe manner by using the skills learned during a stay at the rehab facility.
The Missouri Delta Inpatient Rehab Center has 12 rooms, all of which are private rooms.
Evans said that although establishing rehab units is a growing trend for hospitals, not every hospital has one yet.
Statistics indicate most Americans will require at least one rehabilitation service at some point in their lives, according to Evans.
In addition to reducing subsequent illnesses, rehabilitation can lengthen life and improve the quality of life.
For every dollar spent on rehab care, it is estimated that $11 are saved on long-term disability costs, she noted. Even more important than the savings is the independence gained or retained through rehabilitation, For more information regarding inpatient rehabilitation, call Missouri Delta Inpatient Rehab Center at 800-747-1250.