Many patients who are recovering from stroke, who are dealing with neurological conditions like Parkinson's disease or who have had fractures or joint replacements, need rehabilitation therapy. In addition, rehabilitation may be prescribed for elderly patients who have been bedridden for a period of time and have experienced deconditioning. Rehabilitation may include physical, occupational and/or speech/language/swallowing therapy. Through exercises and education on how to strengthen muscles or use strong muscles instead of weak ones, patients learn to function with new challenges and move toward a more active lifestyle. Hospitalized patients who need rehabilitation receive therapy at the bedside or at the dedicated rehabilitation unit's acute care or rehabilitation gym. Patients who have recovered enough to focus primarily on rehabilitation may be admitted to the Hospital's 25-bed rehabilitation therapy unit.
Occupational therapists help patients master daily activities, such as transfers to and in the bathroom, lower body dressing and fine motor control. Physical therapists help with strengthening, range of motion activities and relearning to walk following surgery or injury. Often physical therapy is begun during a hospital-stay and then continued on an out-patient basis in a long-term care facility, in the home or with visits to an outpatient physical therapy center. NewYork-Presbyterian/Brooklyn Methodist's affiliate, Metro SportsMed, offers outpatient physical therapy to on the Hospital campus.
The Division of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYPBMH also houses a Center for Swallowing and Speech-Language Pathology. The Center provides evaluation and treatment services to adult and pediatric inpatients and outpatients, who may be facing speech and swallowing disorders related to stroke, Parkinson's disease or other conditions. Among the available services is swallowing evaluation for the assessment of dysphagia, which may include a clinical examination followed by an instrumental exam, as well as swallowing therapy, direct neuromuscular treatment, and state-of-the-art biofeedback techniques.