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How Family Plays an Important Role in Rehabilitation

One of the essential factors in a patient’s recovery after a disability or life-altering disease is the involvement and support of family and friends. The family plays a vital part in the rehabilitation process, including emotional and physical support. Positive attitudes and encouragement from the family can inspire the patients’ commitment and progress in their rehabilitation. Additionally, the involvement from the family can ease the transition back to their home environment, especially if the family also serves as a caregiver. Over 65 million people in the U.S. provide care for a loved one that is disabled, chronically ill, or aged. When family members are required to be accountable for the care of a loved one, the stress can be overwhelming. Additional pressures around living arrangements, care follow-up, and financial pressures also add to the burden for the family.

At Indianapolis Rehab Hospital, we are here for the family and embrace the family’s involvement in the rehabilitation and education process. We realize family members can be great patient advocates and know their loved ones best. We consider the family part of the care team and encourage active communication between the family and our care team. Our care team will support the family by including them in the rehabilitation plan of care, the rehabilitation treatments, and the progress achieved as well as educating the family on what to expect going forward beyond the hospital stay.

Emotional Support

Our hospital team aims to serve as a resource to the family and patient both physically and emotionally.

Here are 3 tips to aid in decreasing the mental exhaustion or the desire to give up after a debilitating injury or illness:

  1. Set clear and realistic goals. By setting goals, the patient’s progress is measurable day in and day out. We celebrate the smallest of achievements! Each goal achieved can inspire the patient to push through in the treatments for the most significant accomplishments.

  2. Visualize a healthy you. Don’t underestimate the power of visualization. Studies have shown that when we visualize the action and actually perform that action, we stimulate our brains to do more.

  3. Being positive and keeping positive influences in your life can lead to improved outcomes during rehabilitation.

Home Transition Support

Our care team and case management team provide the family with many resources that may be needed upon release from our hospital. These resources include follow-up and in-home care, home environment adjustments, tools and equipment for mobility, speech, and strength. Additionally, drastic changes in lifestyles resulting from a disabling injury or disease can affect the emotional aspect of a patient and the family. These mental stressors can delay the rehabilitation process and the well-being of the entire family. We want patients and family members to understand they are not going through this journey alone even after leaving our hospital.

Support groups are one option to connect with others that may be going through a similar injury or diagnosis, and they typically focus on a specific situation or condition. Our team can provide the appropriate ones to the patient and the family. There are many support groups throughout the United States for Stroke, Brain Injury, Amputees, Spinal Cord Injury, and many others.

Some benefits of these groups and professional associations:

  • Social interaction in a safe environment

  • Sense of empowerment

  • Improved coping skills

  • Opportunity to gain information about ongoing rehabilitation needs and treatment

We encourage families to contact us with any questions about the rehabilitation process. Reach us at 463.333.8434 or

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