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Rehabilitation can help you regain strength after illness or injury.

Rehabilitation can help you regain strength after illness or injury.
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Rehabilitation after illness or injury

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If you have been injured or had a serious illness, you might need extra help to get better. Rehabilitation services can help you recover from a stroke, a heart attack, a workplace injury, surgery or many other things.

What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation after illness or injury is a slow step-by-step process that aims to help you recover. Rehabilitation might help them get moving again, regain their strength, relearn skills, or find new ways of doing things.

If you have rehabilitation, the aim is to help you lead as good a life as possible. That might be the same life you had before you got sick or injured, or it might be different.

You can talk to your doctor about what you would like rehabilitation to do for you. With your doctor, you will set some goals. Then you and your doctor will work out how to get there.

You will play a very important part in your rehabilitation. You will need to be patient – it takes time – but it can help.

You might need to use rehabilitation services if you have:

  • had a stroke or spinal injury
  • been hurt at home, while out and about, or at work
  • had surgery
  • had a heart attack
  • had an illness, including a mental illness
  • spent a long time in hospital

Types of rehabilitation services

Rehabilitation services are usually different from standard hospital services. There will be specialised staff involved, like:

Rehabilitation can be done as an inpatient or as an outpatient.

Inpatient rehabilitation

Inpatient done in a:

  • special hospital ward, like a stroke unit
  • specialist rehabilitation hospital or rehabilitation centre
  • private hospital

Health professionals there will work with the patient, their family and other carers to create a rehabilitation plan. This will set goals and include a discharge plan for going home.

Outpatient rehabilitation

Outpatient (out of hospital) rehabilitation might involve health workers visiting the patient's home. It may also involve attending clinics as an outpatient, or taking part in rehabilitation programs. Sometimes these are group programs with other people who need rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation costs

There are Medicare rebates for eligible people. Private health insurance might also offer rebates for rehabilitation, depending on the level of cover.

If you have been injured at work, you might be eligible for workers compensation.

The healthdirect service finder lists rehabilitation services and allied health professionals in your area.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: April 2020

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