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Neurological Rehabilitation

Individuals who have suffered a stroke, spine or brain injury may need extensive inpatient rehabilitation. Often, such patients experience some degree of loss of physical or cognitive function, including:

  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Inability to communicate
  • Inability to perform simple tasks such as feeding or dressing oneself, taking care of daily hygiene or performing regular housekeeping tasks. 
  • Thought processing
  • Decision making

Comprehensive neurological rehabilitative care is available at the inpatient Rehabilitation Center at our Los Gatos campus. Neurological rehabilitation includes care from a physiatrist, certified rehabilitation registered nurses, physical, occupational, and speech therapists as well as evaluation and therapy from a neuropsychologist, a PhD-trained psychologist who specializes in how diseases, injuries, and disorders of the nervous system affect emotions and behaviors.

The inpatient Rehabilitation Center offers a full range of rehabilitative services for patients experiencing loss of function and independence from such illnesses or injuries as stroke, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries. The staff of rehabilitation nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists bring a wealth of experience to helping patients regain as much function and independence as possible so they can get back to enjoying their everyday lives.

The inpatient Rehabilitation Center is accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities for general adult rehabilitation and Stroke Specialty program. The success rate in returning patients to their homes and communities puts the Rehabilitation Center in the top 25 percent of rehabilitation hospitals nationally for all patients. For stroke patients, they place in the top 10 percent.

Stroke

After a stroke, it is best to begin ongoing rehabilitation as soon as the patient is physically stable in order to restore function and prevent complications. The amount of physical and cognitive restoration accomplished in rehabilitation depends on where the stroke is located and how much brain damage it has caused. Stroke rehabilitation may include:

  • Mobility training to recover the use of an arm or leg
  • Communication training for speech problems
  • Therapy for swallowing problems
  • Help with memory or problem solving issues
  • Relearning basic tasks like feeding, bathing and dressing

Spine

Tailored to the patient’s physical capabilities and limitations, rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury is a complex process combining physical therapies, skill-building activities, counseling and support. Education is crucial for both patients and their loved ones. Depending on the type and extent of a patient’s injury, general goals of spinal rehabilitation may include:

  • Improving function and mobility
  • Strengthening Muscle 
  • Acquiring new skills and strategies to perform daily activities
  • Learning to use adaptive technologies such as a walker, wheel chair or leg braces to facilitate activities 
  • Learning to use adaptive devices for writing, typing or using the telephone
  • Overcoming the psychological and social challenges that occur with a life-altering spinal injury
  • Bladder and bowel management
  • Coping strategies for complications such as spasticity, autonomic dysreflexia, and neurogenic pain.
  • Vocational rehabilitation where possible/appropriate

Brain Injury

The goal of brain injury rehabilitation is to help the patient achieve the highest achievable level of function and independence, along with the best possible quality of life. Rehabilitation for a brain injury begins during the acute treatment phase and becomes more extensive as the patient's condition improves. The success of rehabilitation depends on many variables, including the nature and severity of the brain injury, the type and extent of any resulting impairment, the patient’s overall health and the degree of family involvement and support. Reasons for rehabilitation therapy after a traumatic injury may include:

  • Treating the mental and physical problems caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) and providing social and emotional support.
  • Improving the patient’s ability to function at home and in the community
  • Enhancing mobility skills 
  • Helping the patient adapt to their change in capabilities
  • Teaching self-care skills, including activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Helping resolve challenges around grooming, bathing, dressing, toileting, and sexual functioning
  • Working on speech, writing, and alternative methods of communication
  • Improving memory, concentration, judgment, problem solving, and organizational skills

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