Each year, the National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation designates one week to educate people about rehabilitation and its benefits and impact. National Rehabilitation Awareness Week falls in the month of September each year. This year, National Rehabilitation Awareness Week is September 15th through the 21st. During this week, we celebrate the professionals in rehabilitation who work together to change the lives of others for better. Therapists are some of the most giving, sensitive and caring individuals who truly enjoy creating change. This week we thank these healthcare professionals for all of their patience, understanding and compassion that they spread to all of their patients.
In order to celebrate these people, we want to highlight three major forms of rehabilitation therapy, including physical, occupational and speech therapists. Here is a quick overview of the role of each in the rehabilitation process.
Likely the most familiar form of rehab therapy to people, the main goal of physical therapy is to strengthen muscles, accelerate healing, increase range of motion and reduce pain and inflammation. Each of these steps are important to help people get back on their feet again. Physical therapy may also be used to relieve painful symptoms associated with arthritic, fibromyalgia and other sources of neuropathic pain. Physical therapy is often administered after surgery affecting joints or after an injury or long-term illness.
The primary purpose of occupational therapy is to assist patients in maintaining or improving the ability to do daily activities of life, such as bathing, dressing and using the bathroom. Occupational therapists often provide help for older people who experience cognitive and physical changes. They also can help patients suffering from chronic diseases or those who have experienced injury or have had major surgery.
Speech therapist deal with just what you might imagine – helping a person to better communicate. They also help people with their ability to swallow. It is often prescribed after a stroke or for patients suffering with progressive neurological conditions, like dementia. People with cognitive-linguistic or language problems are also likely to benefit from speech therapy.
Activity Ideas for National Rehabilitation Awareness Week
If you too are thankful for all of the benefits of rehabilitation therapy as well as the caring individuals who pour themselves into helping others, you may be interested in sharing National Rehabilitation Awareness Week with your community. Below are some ideas for you to consider, as shared by the National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation:
- Host professional workshops and seminars for rehabilitation specialists, allowing them to highlight their services and raising awareness about rehabilitation therapy.
- Plan an open house of your facility, offering health information and free health screenings in honor of National Rehabilitation Awareness week.
- Ask some of your patients to share their stories.
- Organize/sponsor community events, such as a 5k or fun run and have t-shirts printed with your business name and logo. Remember to have the designer highlight National Rehab Week!