Throughout my life I have experienced Speech Therapy (ST), Occupational Therapy, (OT), and Physical Therapy (PT) to help make my overall life and my day-to-day living a little less difficult. I have had more speech therapy than OT or PT, yet the way a person looks at their therapy program can make a big difference if the programs are a benefit. This also might depend on if the patient is going through a change (i.e. recovering from an operation or just dealing with the normal life condition of having a disability.)
After going to the rehabilitation clinics and seeing and talking to other patients, I have come to the conclusion that many places are not putting in place what I call the team approach to rehabilitation therapy. Before I explain my definition of the team approach to rehabilitation therapy, I first need to explain one very important fact. That no matter how long a person has been going through the different kinds of therapy, it is up to the patient to make the program work for them. Many times I have heard patients complain that it’s too hard, I can’t do this, or it hurts! Stop! I always say no pain, no gain. I also say you must push yourself if you want to get better. I also think it is important to have a support team of people to work with you. People have to push themselves if they want to get better.
Why do I believe this is true? The answer is simple. Once the patient goes home from the hospital or completes an outpatient therapy program they must continue doing their exercise program if they want to see their improvement continue.
Now, my definition of the team approach to rehabilitation therapy is to have the patient, the therapist and the family all working together. Sometimes the patient might not be in the mood to do exercises that he or she needs to do. This is normal for anyone disabled or not. Exercise is not always a priority on a daily basis, but it is important to continue doing even if the individual stops one day and then continues with the exercises at another time during the day or perhaps the next day.
It may help for some people to exercise at a health club or gymnasium, not at home. Why is that helpful? I think it makes a difference for someone to exercise in an environment with other people because it motivates them to go exercise, whereas, doing it at home alone can become very boring and monotonous.
Thus the team approach becomes useless if you don’t do your exercises.