Inpatient rehabilitation is a rehabilitation service offered to people in a residential setting, rather than to people who travel to a clinic for rehabilitation appointments. People usually attend inpatient rehabilitation programs because they require extensive physical or emotional support, and outpatient programs cannot meet their needs. Inpatient rehab, as it is also known, is offered in a variety of settings, ranging from private clinics in remote locations for people struggling with drug addiction to physical rehabilitation programs attached to hospitals so that residents can quickly access emergency medical care if they require it.
Rehabilitation services can be provided to people with physical or psychological needs. Inpatient physical rehabilitation programs are usually used to help people who have suffered severe physical trauma, such as burn victims, bombing victims, and people who have been involved in major car accidents. The rehabilitation program includes sessions to help patients develop physical strength, learn to use their bodies, and adjust to prosthetics and other assistive devices.
In an inpatient physical rehabilitation program, patients typically have a very structured day. Part of the day is devoted to follow-up medical care which is designed to address ongoing physical issues, and part of the day involves physical and occupational therapy to help the patient build up strength and skills. The earlier patients start physical therapy, the better the outcome tends to be, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities offer patients the opportunity to get necessary complex medical care while getting back on track with their lives. These facilities also often offer psychological support, as physical trauma can be emotionally draining.
Psychological rehabilitation can include assistance with recovery from drug addiction, along with rehabilitation for people with mental illness. This type of inpatient rehabilitation provides patients with a structured environment in which to work on emotional issues, in a supportive space with other patients and care providers. Since contact with the outside world can sometimes hinder emotional recovery, inpatient rehab also creates a dedicated space without outside influences to help patients deal with the most difficult periods of their recovery.
After successful completion of an inpatient rehabilitation program, patients usually graduate to an outpatient program. Outpatient services may take place in the same facility or in another facility. They often start with daily appointments which may last several hours, with the length and number of appointments decreasing over time as the patient develops independence and proves that he or she no longer needs rehabilitation services.