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Five ways rehabilitation promotes independence

Everyone wants to be independent.

That’s true no matter your age.

But it can be especially important when you face the physical challenges that sometimes accompany aging.

In fact, one of the most common desires among older adults is to remain as independent as possible, as long as possible.

While many people achieve this goal by staying healthy, sometimes accidents or unforeseen illnesses can threaten independent vitality.

When a physical injury limits your mobility, or an illness disrupts daily life, taking advantage of rehabilitation services can help you to get back on your feet and remain independent much longer.

Rehabilitation services at Diakon Senior Living Services cover a variety of therapies and meet the needs of adults in less-than-their-best health. In fact, many seniors turn to rehab following a hospital stay if they’re not yet able to return home. Others seek outpatient rehab to continue therapy after an injury or surgery.

Whether physical, occupational or speech therapy, such programs can help you to regain optimal abilities and well-being.

If you face an illness or injury with the risk of loss of independence, rehabilitation can help you maintain independence longer and to the extent possible.

1.    Allows you to maintain your daily routine. Recovery can be a long road for older adults, but rehabilitation can help you get back on your feet—and back to your regular lifestyle—much faster. Those who opt out of rehab or therapy might not heal as quickly or suffer from subsequent injuries, making it harder to maintain a daily routine. For example, if a shoulder injury doesn’t heal correctly, you may always need help lifting heavy loads or reaching above your head. Rehabilitation services can help you to meet your goals for continuing your normal way of life.

2.    Avoids subsequent hospitalizations. Circumstances might not allow you to stay in the hospital as long as you’d like. Early discharges can sometimes increase the risk of recurrent illness or injury and re-hospitalization. However, transitioning from the hospital to rehabilitation can help to ensure you have the services and medical professionals you need for proper recovery.

3.    Guards against isolation. If recovery takes longer than it should, or you don’t seem to recover properly, your decreasing health or mobility can cause you to become isolated at home. Mobility loss or continued poor health can keep you from going where you’d like, doing the things you love or visiting with other people. Rehabilitation can help you to avoid such situations; further, it offers social interactions during recovery.

4.    Can help to prevent other illnesses and health conditions. Older adults who have mobility loss or chronic illness often have increased risk of developing additional health issues. Isolation can lead to depression. A lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain, diabetes or respiratory problems and can increase the risk of cognitive impairments. Ultimately, your best chance of remaining healthy and independent requires a full recovery now, and rehabilitation can help to make that possible.

5.    Promotes longevity of your lifestyle. Rehabilitation can be a gateway to achieving long-term goals as you age. If you wish to live in your own home independently for as long as possible, or hope to travel frequently and with ease, or perhaps stay active enough to play with grandchildren, rehab can increase your longevity and vitality and help you to ensure an illness or injury doesn’t keep you from the living the life you want.

If you believe rehabilitation services could help you, Diakon Senior Living Services can be of assistance.

Jennifer Sharp
Vice President of Senior Living Operations
Diakon Senior Living Services


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